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Will I ever be at peace with my childhood?

(16 Posts)
YourHandInMyHand Mon 26-Dec-16 18:23:36

I had an abusive childhood. The kind where you press charges, receive compensation, cut off the abusive parent, etc. sad

I've had no contact with my dad for about 16 years now. He was an alcoholic and a paedophile. On the flip side to his personality he had a responsible job, friends, was on the board of parent governors, etc. He taught me to cook, to love music, all the while being a functional alcoholic and abusing me.

As the eldest I remember more. My mum crying trying to make her shopping list add up, feeling hungry, my cousins who's dad had the exact same job having so much more, the cheap shoes I got teased for, not immediately recognising the feeling of safety when a family friend tucked me into bed one night instead of my dad, the drink driving, the strong smell of coffee or beer.......

My mum has always been very childlike and has alluded to suspecting what he was like, but never doing anything about it. He left for another woman rather than her kicking him out. As older children we did a LOT around the house, I think as a way of her coping she just delegated everything to us kids.

When it all came out about the abuse it was all about her, how bad she felt, what a shock it was, what a struggle, etc. She has always been rather self involved.

Even now as an adult I think every day about it all. I feel sad. I feel angry, I feel let down. I suffer from anxiety and depression on and off. I see my mum but keep her at arms length. Haven't seen her so far over xmas week and no real desire to. I often come away from seeing her feeling very disconnected and angry.

I don't want to be carrying all these negative feelings around. I feel tired and deeply sad. In the moment with my partner and child I am happy and content, but it is always at the back of my mind lurking. sad

OnTheRise Mon 26-Dec-16 18:35:21

I've been through similar stuff, and am finding my way through it.

It's not easy, but if you want to feel better about this the steps you have to take are relatively simple (not easy, necessarily, but simple). Get yourself to your GP and ask for talking therapy. It works, it's free if you get it through your GP, and it will make you feel much better if you put the effort in. You don't deserve to feel unhappy, and can change things with the right help.

While you wait to see a therapist you can start to help yourself by trying to be more mindful and more self-compassionate. I've found some self-compassion meditations free online, which have been great; it's surprising how much help there is out there once you start looking. But the talking therapy has been the biggest help for me.

I hope things improve for you. Take care of yourself.

YourHandInMyHand Mon 26-Dec-16 18:39:22

Thank you for your reply. I went to the GP about my anxiety and she gave me a self referral service and I have an initial appointment in the new year with them.

However I've done all that before and the previous therapist wouldn't discuss my childhood. (!) She was great at helping me with the here and now, at the time I was finding my feet as a single parent with a disabled child and she did help me with what I wanted, making plans and goals, etc but nothing regarding tackling/discussing my childhood.

I will try to be more upfront this time around that it's something I feel I need help with. Like I say the last time around was helpful, but in a different way.

I will look into the at home mindful stuff thanks.

PopGoesTheFuckingWeasel Mon 26-Dec-16 18:42:24

I went through similar.

It never really goes away- but you learn to work around it.


Namechangeemergency Mon 26-Dec-16 18:48:34

I didn't go through what you did but my childhood did have a massive impact on how I dealt with subsequent traumas in my life.

My feelings of insecurity (flaky, self absorbed parents, always in debt, moving around all the time) were compounded by some truly awful things that happened later in life.

I had lots of talking therapy for the trauma and it helped a bit but it wasn't until had EMDR for PTSD that things really 'shifted' for me. The therapist insisted on getting to the roots of how I managed trauma and why before she got to the actual trauma.

I hope that counselling works for you but you may want to consider specialist trauma therapy.

flowers for you and the others on this thread.

PopGoesTheFuckingWeasel Mon 26-Dec-16 18:48:47

I'm sorry. I've just realized how crappy my last reply to you was.

We are all different, but, for me, peace came with the realization that I didn't deserve the horrible things that happened to me. You mention being the "oldest" (I was, too)- do you mind if I ask whether your siblings ever mention what went on?

YourHandInMyHand Mon 26-Dec-16 18:58:18

I have 2 biological sisters, one I am closest in age to I am very close with and we talk about that and everything else. Youngest sister I'm not close to at all. She's very shut off and just has a very minimal relationship with everyone, none of us can figure her out. She was very mad with my mum years ago as she had told her children her dad was dead. My mum in her infinite wisdom decided to tell my nephew his mum was lying and told him all about it all! TBH a lot of the time I even her keeping her distance.

I also have a step sister who is even younger, who I haven't seen since she whistle blew on my dad, she was about 9 or 10 at the time.

My step mum took my dad back, and from what I can gather my (now adult) step sister still lives with them! It terrifies me that she will have kids one day and still has contact. I've no idea how much she remembers.

He was found guilty in court but no custodial time, kept his job, went back home to wife and child, etc.

I also have a step brother who again I haven't seen since it all came out. He as an adult now lives in China! I think he moved in with his Dad back then but I don't know if he stayed there.

YourHandInMyHand Mon 26-Dec-16 19:02:53

Not heard of emdb. Not sure if I have ptsd.

I hope my initial appointment in January will help me feel I'm heading in the right direction, if not (camhs is rather poor in my area) I may have to look at other pathways I can take.

pklme Mon 26-Dec-16 19:43:02

Emdr is a combination of talking therapy with a specific series of physical actions which allow the brain to reprocess old injuries. It helps people move on.

I think you need to access as much help as you can, being up front about the trauma you are recovering from. There are a lot of groups which help. I can't remember off hand the names of them, sorry. 'One in four' rings a bell, though.

I'm sorry for your suffering, and hope you find some help to leave it behind.

Namechangeemergency Mon 26-Dec-16 20:31:52

Sorry. I was off sorting DCs out.
Thanks for that explanation PKLME

I don't know (obviously) if you have PSTD OP but you may well have and you have definitely experienced significant trauma. I think its a route worth exploring.

CinnamonSteve Mon 26-Dec-16 21:06:10

Hi OP,

I assume you've been told to self-refer to a wellbeing/IAPT style service. These operate on a limited number of sessions, but can refer to main hospital-based psychological services, this also opens up treatments like EMDR.

I was told upon the decision to refer myself to mainline services that complex childhood trauma often requires referral and the more specialised treatments this offers.

Good luck, you aren't alone, you should check out the "Stately Homes" thread in the relationships section flowers

NotAnotherUserName1234 Mon 26-Dec-16 21:11:24

have you read Toxic parents or John Bradshaw's Inner Child book? the latter has lots of written exercises to help work through these feelings.

WingsofNylon Mon 26-Dec-16 23:07:14

Another one suggesting emdr. I am doing it now, after 15 years of trying to over come a trumatic childhood. It is working wonders.

Tiredbutnotyetretired Tue 27-Dec-16 01:49:35

My heart goes out to you, what awful memories to carry, what a sad situation for you as a child, i dont have any advice but i want to say that when i read your post i felt such sadness in my heart for you. Sending love and compassion your way xx

RedastheRose Tue 27-Dec-16 02:49:05

If it is possible for you to access it I would recommend hypno-psychotherapy. I have found it incredibly helpful in dealing with childhood issues getting my head straight and moving forward. I have also had a previous therapist who refused to discuss these matters citing 're-traumatisation' as the reason for ignoring it but it was of no help to me to do that.

YourHandInMyHand Wed 28-Dec-16 15:26:02

Thank you again everyone who has commented. I stepped away from the online world and forced myself to go out for a few drinks with my partner and it did me the world of good.

I've been feeling very guilty that I haven't seen my mum over the xmas week but I'm feeling too sad and angry and resentful, I just know I'd come away feeling even worse.

For now I'm going to wait for my initial referral appointment in the new year and take it from there. Thanks again

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