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Moving past childhood abuse(7 Posts)
I've NC for this, I don't want it linked to my other account.
My childhood was complicated, I lived in a privileged family but experienced financial and emotional abuse from my dad. Despite having money, my mum and sister lived mostly in poverty.
I have been working with an amazing counsellor who had me read a short book from the freedom project about the effect of abuse on children. Up until that point I had never categorised my experience as abuse but she's helped me to see that's what it was. I feel very uncomfortable being labelled a 'victim' or a 'survivor', in fact I want to move past this and cut off that time of my life. I don't want my father's actions to define my life.
We are very low contact and I understand now that he will never acknowledge the pain he caused or work towards fixing it. If possible, could anyone recommend any books I could read that will help me process this and move past it please? I know I have more work to do with my counsellor but I would like to help myself in her corona, social distanced absence.
Hmm toxic parents by Susan forward ? I will think more , my problem was I couldn't read or concentrate when I was going through counselling so I don't have a lot of recommendations.
I was abused in childhood and I would just like to say , sincerely , you don't have to pass a certain standard or bar of abuse to be worthy of help or consideration.
You were abused as a child and you are seeking help to work through that . You should feel proud of yourself and maybe you should understand that that was something that you have came through and survived . Because it is .
You have to move through something to move past it (. And part of that is acceptance that it happened and how it affected you ).
Don't look to your dad for any kind or recognition or apology . If he is anything like my mother you will be told all the reasons it was your fault . You can get closure on your own .
I have accepted it , I have issues still left over but I don't think of it so much anymore . And I am further on that I thought possible . (But I still have other issues so I'm far from perfect but it is so worth the work )
I feel very uncomfortable being labelled a 'victim' or a 'survivor', in fact I want to move past this and cut off that time of my life
I have experienced different kinds of abuse- not at the hands of my parents but from different adults at different times of childhood and teenage years. Cutting off that time of my life was the single biggest mistake I made. It is literally blowing up in my face now. It's very uncomfortable, i know- especially when you know you can't really confront the people responsible- but your past needs to be addressed. I am so low right now and it could have been avoided had I dealt with this sooner...
I feel very uncomfortable being labelled a 'victim' or a 'survivor', in fact I want to move past this and cut off that time of my life. I don't want my father's actions to define my life.
Is this something you speak with IRL outside of counselling? Why do either of those labels unsettle you - have you accepted that it was abuse? And/or neglect?
Would saying he emotionally wounded you and you are now in a pro active state of healing help?
Thank you all for your responses. I have spent so much time (and so has my husband) trying to get some acknowledgement in the blind hope of a relationship, I realise that won't happen now and my life is far better for it.
I'm afraid I fall into the trap that I'm told many abuse victims do - comparing myself to others. I know others have gone through so much worse and it feels wrong to align myself with that narrative, if that makes sense.
@Songsofexperience I am in a similar situation. I've ignored the impact its had on me for so long and now I'm dealing with it. I just don't want my life to always be the legacy of his actions, which is difficult when I still have to mediate his bullshit. Going totally NC is not an option unfortunately.
@CrazyDaysAndMondays I will look into that book, thank you. Your message resonated with me. It's what my therapist says, abuse is abuse and my story should not be compared to others' but it's hard not to.
I would also highly recommend Susan Forwards book - it’s v much about moving on realistically (apologies and acknowledgements v rarely happen) - but most it the book is about coping strategies to manage difficult people so that your emotions are not triggered and hijacked on every interaction (or even thought of them).
It’s all about accepting and then adapting. If you don’t do this - he will continue to define you.
As PP have said and you acknowledge - it’s not “Trauma Top Trumps” - it’s not a zero sum game. Every hurt is valid - you don’t get dismissed and turned away from A&E because you have a broken arm because someone else has a broken neck. Both need treating.
Allowing yourself some internal self compassion to acknowledge the feelings you experienced as a little girl might help.
@Gutterton thank you, really thank you. It's taken me some time to reply but really that was what I needed to hear (or read). I really appreciate that. I've felt a lot of insecurity about facing this. I will definitely get the book. Thank you
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