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**Trigger Warning** sexual abuse in childhood. Title changed by MNHQ self esteem

(19 Posts)
saltandvinegarcrisps1 Sun 06-Nov-16 13:14:44

Hi all - new user here. Been looking about online to try and get some help with a problem I am having and came across this site - this was actually a few weeks ago but now feeling brave enough to post.

Basically my problem is I am ruining my marriage through my behaviours. I am drinking too much, being awful to husband and generally being a PITA. My problems stem from being sexually assaulted by my mum's brother in my early teens. I told her and she basically chastised me, told me I was evil and never to say it again. Found out later after her death that she had been abused by him throughout her life.

Anyway - I've always had low self esteem which I think stems from this. If you think your mum doesn't love you - well it doesn't get much worse than that. The uncle died last yeare and lots of (bad) memories have come flooding back. I can't sleep unless I am very drunk, have been depressed and basically have been a nightmare. I've slapped my husband, thrown things at him, been horrible - and he's taken it but I know I need to get better. Can't afford counselling so I am looking for advice from people about a.) a good self help book, b). anyone with similar issues and how they dealt with it. Obviously the drinking has to stop and I am onto that - I am not physically addicted but when I drink, I drink to intentionally get to oblivison.

So first post and quite depressing really - but on the plus side, I am acknowleding my problems and looking for help. Thanks

something2say Sun 06-Nov-16 14:49:05

Oh dear I am sorry.
Well done for seeking help and you are absolutely spot on, it's not your fault and all of this IS to do with him.
Self help books, try The Courage to Heal.
There will be more posters along soon, but essentially you are not alone and this is not your fault xxxx
But you can't take it out on your husband.

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Sun 06-Nov-16 14:57:56

OP I totally get the wanton to drink to oblivion. However I also know from my own experience that drinking too much for too long makes mental health issues much worse. So you are definitely doing the right thing by curbing the drinking.

Have you seen your GP? You might be able to get a referral for talking therapy that wouldn't cost you anything.

Keep posting as there are lots of wise MNers who will hopefully be able to help further flowers

OnceMoreIntoTheBleach Sun 06-Nov-16 14:58:43

Also, I find TED talks very inspiring, and there are plenty on relevant topics flowers

noego Sun 06-Nov-16 15:02:12

Have a chat with Napac. Don't have their number to hand but you can google it.

saltandvinegarcrisps1 Sun 06-Nov-16 15:31:13

Thanks for the replies and suggestions - I will check these out. The irony is I studied psychology at uni and have done some counselling training and I have some insight but just can't seem to sort myself outconfused

QuiteLikely5 Sun 06-Nov-16 15:34:47

You have some good recommendations above op but I'm concerned about your poor husband as he is suffering DV.

I would recommend he contacts an external agency for support himself

Crazeecurlee Sun 06-Nov-16 15:45:02

Hi OP.

Given the situation you have described, you shouldn't have to pay for counselling. Go to your GP, tell them everything you have said in this thread, and they will be able to help. Most local areas have free counselling the GP can refer you to, charities that offer free counselling or the local mental health team. The GP can also help with the drinking and perhaps some medication to tide you over (anti-anxiety meds or anti-depressants might help for a while). Have you looked for charities for people who have been sexually abused? They might have a chapter local to you that does counselling or support groups.

Similarish situation, however not a family member and dealt with it as a teen through local mental health services. So accessing services was a little different as I was younger and sometimes where you live can affect the support that is available. However I know through family and friends that as an adult with similar problems they were able to access support lots of different support through their GP.

Hopefully some other posters can come along with other advice.

saltandvinegarcrisps1 Sun 06-Nov-16 18:02:21

Again - thanks for your replies. I am reluctant to go to GP as I am in the profession and don't want it out there.
Quite - you are right. He's put up with so much but is not the type to go for help - although I agree he has experienced abuse from me (mortified) .
Something - you are of course right - I can't take it out on him

Stuffofawesome Sun 06-Nov-16 18:17:44

you might find the work of Kristin Neff helpful

she talks about the difference between self esteem and self compassion and why the latter is more helpful to us. Treat yourself as you would a good friend.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 06-Nov-16 20:02:53

If you think your mum doesn't love you - well it doesn't get much worse than that

If I start listing what's "worse than that" I'll be here all night.

Low self-esteem does not in any way excuse your behaviour to your h who is a victim of dv.

You need to face the face the fact that you are a perpetrator and will be liable in law for your crimes should your h make a complaint to the police.

I have some insight but just can't seem to sort myself out That's because you have no vested interest in resolving your issues while your h continues to tolerate your abhorrent behaviour as he's become your whipping boy, a human punchbag that you use to take your bad temper out on.

The "irony" is not that you "studied psychology at uni and have done some counselling training" but that as a victim, and as a survivor, you have chosen to victimise your h. Do you, or would you, treat your colleagues/friends//other relatives the way you treat him?

I am reluctant to go to GP as I am in the profession and don't want it out there This is a piss poor excuse for your failure to address your issues. If you're "in the profession" you know how to source confidential help and should think on the consequences of it being "out there" because your h has made a complaint, or the police have been called to your home because a neighbour/passer-by heard you kicking off.

I know I need to get better What you need is to be a better person and you won't achieve this until you stop making excuses for yourself and start controlling your unacceptable behaviour. If you feel the need to "slap", "throw things" and be "horrible" to your h take yourself off to another room or, better still, out of the house until you have overcome these urges.

I'm not lacking in compassion for you, OP, but you must know that you have no justification whatsoever for abusing your h and that continuing to do so may have unwelcome and far-reaching consequences for you and your marriage.

noego Sun 06-Nov-16 21:37:52

So how would treat a client that had your issues if they had sought counselling from you.

NotTheFordType Sun 06-Nov-16 21:49:09

Can't afford counselling

You cannot afford not to have counselling.

Pretty sure you can manage a couple of weekend or evening shifts in a pub to scrape up £50 a week for something that might help you stop assaulting your husband. Right?

Look on it as an investment in not having a criminal record for domestic violence your future.

Dieu Sun 06-Nov-16 21:56:34

I agree that counselling is an absolute must for you , OP. Good luck.

saltandvinegarcrisps1 Sun 06-Nov-16 23:28:56

Thanks again for taking the time to reply. Some of this is hard to read but only because seeing it in black and white - it really hits home how awful I've been. And it is unacceptable. Lots to think about.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 07-Nov-16 02:20:53

The fact that you've taken it on the chin gives me some faint hope that you can turn yourself around and become the warm, caring, and non-abusive woman you were always meant to be but, with or without the aid of self-help books, you can't do it alone and should not look to your h to validate or monitor your progress in any way.

Get a head start on counselling by detaching sufficiently to examine what you felt when your uncle abused you and how your dm's response made you feel about yourself. It may help if you imagine that you are looking down a telescope the wrong way so that you are viewing minature people acting on a far away stage, none of whom have the power to hurt or otherwise adversely impact on your life now.

Be aware that we can seek to continue or resume dialogue that should more properly be addressed to those that have harmed us at a young age with those we meet later in life and we may seek to act out the past in otherwise healthy relationships in order obtain a different outcome, or to reconcile aspects of it that we find unsettling.

Is there anything your h does or says that reminds you of your uncle or are you generally contemptuous of, or hostile to, men? Is there anything he says or does that reminds you of your dm? Is there anything he unwittingly or deliberately says or does that provokes feelings of powerlessness/insecurity in you?

What triggers your unacceptable behaviour? Is there a flashpoint moment which causes you to suddenly erupt and lash out, or does it come about because of a series of minor events which leaves you feeling that you're not in control of your life?

Do you feel that you have never been 'good enough' and that you are not deserving of your h or of the rewards that come through contentment with our lot? Do you find it easy to make friends and do you have an active social life, or do you feel as if you are on the outside looking in while others live life with an ease that you wish you could experience?

You have a lot of soul searching to do, OP, and you will need an experienced counsellor/therapist to guide you through the journey.

I hope you will be back with a positive update but, in the meantime, I would ask to you to please request mumsnet to put a trigger warning on your thread title so that those who have suffered sexual assault/dv are not caught offguard.

saltandvinegarcrisps1 Mon 07-Nov-16 03:58:36

Goddess - thank you for your message. I have woken up with what feels like a mini panic attack. I will think hard about the things you suggest. One thing that does jump out is the thing about never feeling good enough - I've never felt I was good enough in any relationship I've been (4 in total). I do feel like that with husband (together 20 years) but I can't see that he does anything to make me feel that. I'm not generally hostile to men. My current unacceptable behaviour is more about me getting drunk and morose/embarassing , crying in company etc then stomping off in a huff if he tries to talk me down. I've slapped him twice when drunk - both times on the same night. I know I can't drink anymore as it makes things so much worse. I will need to find another way of sleeping. And I will check out therapy/counselling - will also do the trigger warning you suggested if I can work out how to do that. Thanks again for your insight.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 07-Nov-16 05:49:52

If you're not due to be up at this hour, early waking can be a sign of clinical depression.

How do you feel about asking your gp to prescribe a short course of antidepressants such as Setraline and for a referral to a therapist/counsellor to help you process the aftermath of past childhood abuse which is having negative impact on your present life? Save the fine detail until you are in the sanctity of the confessional, as it were.

You could also ask for sleeping tablets to get you through this period of disrupted sleep, but before you go down that route I would suggest you try a couple of natural remedies that may help lift your mood and ensure you get a good night's rest.

Imo everyone in northern climes should supplement their vitamin d intake during the winter months and this little spray works for me is frequently highly recommended on the General Health board. Keep it by your toothbrush and use it daily - it tastes minty and will last several months:

I also suggest you rub topical magnesium oil into the soles of your feet before you go to bed. This will only take a couple of minutes as it's non-oily and quickly absorbed. As a bonus you'll find that hard skin and night cramp (if you suffer from these afflictions) will be a thing of the past and, apart from being an aid to restful sleep, it works wonders on aching muscles/joints, thread veins, wrinkles, and keeps bowels regular.

Replenished magnesium and vitamin d gives us the feelgood factor we get from spending a sunny day at the beach and dipping our toes, or immersing ourselves, in the magnesium rich sea but, as all magenisum oil is not equal, you need to purchase from a reputable source.

I buy both of these products - and use them religiously - on eBay for considerably less than H&B prices and will be happy to give you the details of my suppliers if you pm me.

I know I've been hard on you, but it was necessary to hold a mirror under a harsh light to give you the wake up call you need to call a halt to the destructive behaviour which abases your true nature as much as it abuses your h.

You're not irredeemable, OP, and counselling should enable you to realise that you ARE more than good enough to overcome those demons that are dead and gone and only need laying to rest for you to become all you were meant to be.

You can use the report button to ask mumsnet to apply a trigger warning to the title of your thread.

I wish you well and, once again, hope that you'll be back with a positive update.

saltandvinegarcrisps1 Mon 07-Nov-16 08:45:11

Goddess - thank you so much - you have given me lots of things I can try and I will. I have requested an annual leave day from work tomorrow and have made gp appointment this morning. It wasn't easy reading what you had written but I think I really did need to here it framed like it is I.e abuse - no excuses. I emailed mumsnet re adding the trigger warning but will also try the report function. Thanks again - I am really determined to be a better person.

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