I'm screwed up due to my past, can someone help me?
Hi, i'm new to this website. I don't know how to start but, I guess I just tell you my story. My parents abused me as a child and it went on for years. One day my father kidnapped me and my siblings. We were young at the time and had no idea what was happening. He decided to send my sibling's back into my mothers care and just keep me. Of course I was very distraught at seeing my sisters go. They finally got the idea to get a divorce. It was a very messy divorce full of custordy battles, mediation and supervised visitation (supervised visitation what never happened). All this time he never allowed me to contact neither my siblings or my mother. That has proved difficult for me as this has resulted in me self harming, suicide attempts and having anxiety. I was bullied all through my school life. Which obviously made things worse for me. As I got older I realised what my father was doing to me he was emotionally abusing me. He had a drink problem, used to stay out all hours drinking and then come back to hurl abuse at me telling me to and die and that I was fat and a whole other lot of stuff. He had lots of relationships with lots of different women. We moved house to house. New family's to fit into and be the outcast of each time. I finally decided enough was enough. I found a way to contact my sister and I was letting all my thought and feelings and offloading them on to her. At the time my mental health was deteriorating and health professionals were talking about sectioning me. I decided and was strong and moved to my mothers. Now I'm here he calls me every night leaving horrible voicemails. What my problem is; I don't want to be sick anymore I want to put it all behind me but I can't. Could someone help me with this and talk about ways they could possibly help me to become the strong, indestructible person I aspire to be? I'm going to start college soon and I don't want to be held back by my mental health and other issues. I just can't let go of the past, he destroyed me. I don't want to be a bitter twisted person. I don't want to feel the need to harm myself or have those thoughts and impulses to kill myself and put myself in danger. Nor do I want to be shaking and fainting every time I leave the house because of the fear. If anyone could please help it woukd be much appreciated thank you.
(Haven't you got lovely manners.
How was your father able to deny your mother regular custody visits? Didn't the court order it?
Re how your highly immature, issue-ridden father behaved as you became more woman-like, replete with your own voice, mind and ideas: I rather think you got to experience for a while there what it had been like to be your mother. Is that a fair statement? And would you say, what with him clearly not being fit to love anyone, that he kept you purely or mainly in order to deprive your mother, out of spite?
As you started to blossom into a woman, would you say you started to resemble her, either physically or in mannerisms and demeanour?
Anyway, as for your path to recovery: In case you hadn't noticed, you're already busy fixing yourself! First you managed to put your mental foot down and say, NO! (and the decision is the hardest part). Second, you managed to work out how to contact your sister. Third, you halved your problem by sharing it with her. Fourth, despite talking about it brought everything to the surface dramatically enough that these health professionals took it as a sign of struggling rather than shaking off, you made yet ANOTHER monumental decision and moved to your mum's.
Destroyed you, my bottom! Made you stronger, actually. And you don't sound sick to me!
In fact, you're NOT sick. It's your dad's sickness infecting you. But only symptomatically as a form of lowering yourself to his level so's not to present too much of a contrast as could have antagonised him. It's a valid psychological phenomenon - usually affecting wives. But then, you became his mini-wife in that respect, didn't you.
What you're doing is like crying. If you're crying you're not "getting" upset, you're LETTING GO of upset. The toxic waste starts to come out.
A recovery process is just that. It's not possible to rush it or you destroy the entire 'show'. What you CAN do, however, is speed it up a bit.
First, though, tell me exactly what he says in these horrible voicemails.
Below is a column I read that helped me. I use it many times every day.
I didn't realize it, but unconsciously I was negative. Whenever I had a problem, my conscious would want to solve the problem, but my negative unconscious did not, for it had been raised to be negative.
So I would be divided. If you come to a crossroads, and your unconscious says, turn left, and your conscious says, turn right, you will sit there at the intersection, for both minds have to be going in the same direction in order to make a decision. Only when you unconscious is positive, and wants the best possible outcome, and your conscious, of course, wants to go in the correct direction, can you turn either left or right.
When I first read this column, I realized it was very helpful, and told myself to put the column on the bulletin board. Whenever I have a problem, I thought, get the column down off the board and start reading it. I said, don't worry about the problem, worry about your negative unconscious which you can't see and won't even know if it's messing you up.
Use the column to help get the neg. unconscious out of your mind. I day or two later, something occurred, and I never worried about the problem, which I realized I didn't know how to solve and was going to wait till my wife came home to help me figure it out.
I got the column down off the bulletin board and started reading. By the 4th paragraph, I had figured out the problem without even thinking consciously about the problem. I had done it. I had solved the problem. But more important for the long run, I had gotten the negative unconscious out of my mind.
With following problems, I did the same thing. Re-read the column. Sometime after that, away from the column, when I had a problem, I would first not think about the problem. I would make myself think, "Think positive, think positive, think positive," trying to drive the unseen negative out of my unconscious, for that was one of my biggest problems, and I couldn't see it, for it was in my unconscious.
I didn't solve every problem. But I solved more. And as the column says, when things don't go well, pat yourself on the back for trying, learn from your experience about how you might do that better the next time, give yourself the same support and encouragement that you would gladly give to any friend, and continue on, having learned from the mistake.
Here's the column:
“We all know people who race around in small, futile circles whenever they’re present with a problem to solve, and others who seem to be natural-born problem solvers—able to tackle obstacles, calmly, logically and effectively.
“Fortunately, being a good problem-solver is not a genetic trait. It’s a learned skill, one that can be learned at any age. If you want to improve your problem-solving skills, here are 10 steps that will help:
"The three most important things of a good problem solver are attitude, attitude, and
attitude. If you think of obstacles as anxiety-producers and unfair burdens, you almost certainly aren't an effective problem solver."
“If you view obstacles as opportunities to gather new information, stretch your imagination, learn new coping mechanisms and achieve more control over your life on the other hand, you’re probably a problem-solving whiz.”
“Be an optimist. If your general outlook is pessimistic, you’re probably not a good problem solver. Facing every puzzle with the assumption that it’s probably unsolvable practically insures that it will be.”
“Happily, changing from a pessimist to an optimistic frame of mind isn’t as difficult was it might sound. Pessimism isn’t a genetic trait, either. It’s a habit of thought we learned as children—and can unlearn as adults.”
“Keep an open mind. Most problems have not just one solution, but many—and sometimes the best ones sound far-fetched or even bizarre at first.”
“Be flexible. Force yourself to give up old, outmoded ways of thinking or acting even though they’re comfortable. Experiment with new ways of thinking and acting, and you’ll be surprised by how quickly THEY become comfortable.”
“Believe in yourself—no matter what. If you believe you’ll be able to solve a problem, your chances of solving it double. Review your past successes—frequently!”
“Take one step at a time. We all want guarantees that our imagination, diligence and hard work will pay off, but good problem-solvers are able to concentrate on the job at hand and move toward their personal and professional goals without blueprints or guarantees of success.”
“Ask for the help you need. There’s no shame in needing help—only in being too self-conscious, too self-protective, too proud or stubborn to ask for it.
“Don’t ask for help you don’t need. Those of us who were taught as children to run to an adult whenever a problem arose, or encouraged in other ways to be helpless and dependent, may find ourselves automatically seeking help now when a problem arises—whether or not we really need it.
“Resist the temptation. Asking for assistance before we’ve honestly tried to solve a problem robs us of our dignity, self-respect and self-confidence—too high a price to pay. “
“Respect the process—not just it’s outcome. Never discount a learning experience just because you didn’t get an A+ on the test.”
“Regardless of whether you’ve been completely successful at solving any problem, working on it almost certainly has gained you valuable experience and insight—good tools to bring with you the next time you have problem to solve!”
“Finally, never hold the past over you own head. Learn what you can from your mistakes, give yourself credit for trying, then wipe the slate clean, quickly, and give yourself the same sympathy, understanding and encouragement that you’d gladly give to any friend.”
Firstly, I would like to thank you for taking the time to read this. In response to you saying "How was your father able to deny your mother regular custody visits? Didn't the court order it?" He used to scare me into saying things. He turned me against my own mother. I know what i'm about to say sounds bad but, in her defence she was protecting herself.... he came back from drinking (this is when not of it all got messy should I say) he tried to sexually assault my mother he'd done it before and she was in the kitchen at the time and the only thing she had to hand was a rolling pin. She defended herself with the rolling pin. The only reason why I remember it o clearly was because I witnessed it of course you don't think too much into it when you're at a young age. But as soon as he brought that up to me I had like some sort of flashbacks. I sound like a nutcase but, I really don't care. So in relation to what I have just told you and what lies he'd made up about her. He made me fear her and trick me into saying I want nothing to do with her if that makes sense? He used to talk for me and then give me a look to say say it agree or they'll be consequences for you. So, the court saw no reason to make anything happen because I said I didn't want anything to do with her and with her reputation of a child beater. He's very good at playing the victim and fooling people. He kept me so he had control over something. He is a control freak. He feeds off the power or being in control. Yes, I hve forgiven my mother as I know it wasn't her fault as I understand she must of been dealing with a lot and with having children a year apart from eachother must add the pressure. Ohh yes! Haha, I used to get "you're just like your mother I f***** hate her I'd kill her everytime I look at you I see her shes a b**** a fat f****r I'd hire a hitman to get rid of that problem" I must admit I am my mothers double. Obviously I don't have wrinkles! Scary though in a good few years I have that to look foward to looking like haha! I am the type of person that takes one step forward and 1000 back. Recently, I had an "episode" lets say and I don't know it made me think about things. I am always finding myself not being able to get over what people have done to me. I fixate on it and then it's there in my head stuck going round and round along with other things. Me leaving, me being here I feel so much guilt from it as I feel I've just abandoned him and he's all alone got no one to look after him no one to make sure he doesn't drink on an empty stomach. It does make my self harming worse as I feel I should be punished for it. I don't show emotions. When he was there screaming shouting in my face telling me im a bad person and that a child should be seen but never heard I never shed a tear just nothing at all. I think thats when my brother died (he committed suicide) I just lost it a bit. I was blamed for his death. Just makes you think about if you're to blame then why should you live a life that person is deserving of? My sisters make me feel like some sort of freak show because of my scars. One of my sisters have actually walked in on me cutting myself and she was screaming so loud the neighbours were knocking on the door asking if everythings okay she kept telling me that its disgusting (like I don't know that) shes so inconsiderate! It's me who has to live with them not her. My sisters are very two faced they act alk caring but then they're there kicking you when you're down. One of them even told me that when I'm dead she's going to get someone to rape me. My anxiety is through the roof now thanks for that sister! I forgot to add earlier that thi is how low my fathers games can get he told me once before he was going to kill himself if I ever left him he didn't come back until a few days later. What kind of sick person tells their child that and then does a disappearing act and returns days later like nothing has happened? The voicemails usually come when he's had a drink and he's drunk. Telling me that he loves me and deep down i know he'd do anything for me and he doesn't know why I left. Well, he didn't 'love' me when he raised his hand to me and beat me! He would only do something that benefits him. He knows why I left I did tell him clearly why I was leaving and what he'd done to me. One more thing I'd like to say is.... who do you know you can trust when the people you think you should be able to count on let's you down. I can't trust anyone. Im always trying to work out their alternative motive for wanting to 'be there' for me and the whole "im here if you want to talk crap" No! People will talk to you all day if you say you're fine and well but as soon as you say okay maybe im nkt okay I'm having a crap day they're like see ya! I really do detest people. When people are sat there telling you that they know what I'm feeling and going through when they're reading out of a text book does make me mad they have no idea as they have their perfect lives and after all I'm not their problem its just their job to go there there i understand. Haha, the last bit turned into a bit of a rant. whoops! Thank you
Hi Victoria, just wanted to say - not ignoring you, just too busy to post at the mo; be with you again tomorrow.
Firstly, no it doesn't sound bad, your mother defending herself with the rolling-pin. Quite the opposite, actually - I think she deserves a round of applause for that. I mean, obviously it goes without saying, how the optimum would have been her having left the minute she realised he was outright abusive (as in, 'Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on ME'), but usually the victim's very tool, very impetus for leaving - self-confidence - has been removed by then, chipped at, bit-by-bit using emotional abuse as a precursor to the physical. So, since her choice at that point was either to lie down and take it or give him "what for", she made the only sensible decision.
Not *every* quality of our animal sides is bad and demands keeping under wraps our entire lifetime. There's still such a thing as jungle law - which is the contextual backdrop your father had deliberately forced into activity. Whereupon your mother finally reared up and roared. So GOOD FOR HER, I say! She's obviously a survivor, deep down - in which case, you taking after her, so too are you. As we can tell from how you put your foot down the minute you had the adult wherewithal. Furthermore, with him your only available, childhood life-support system at that point, of COURSE you would have done exactly as he told you. So you have nothing to admonish yourself or feel guilty over.
He sounds downright mentally ill to me, Victoria, sorry to say. Personality Disordered.
HE was the problem, and anything you and your mother did to survive, direct consequences of his and only his stupid choices of action.
You get over what people have done to you by really getting to mental grips with what their exact problem was, realising then appreciating how damned all-round unhappy *and* immature/self-gratifying/lazy/weak they are (or choose to be in preference to knuckling down and working hard on themselves) and, by that, learning to forever more PITY AND DISMISS them in your mind. Sometimes people can do it themselves, independently (the natural born counsellor), or just with a bit of a lend of someone else's mind and (preferably successful) experiences, be he or she a lay person or professional counsellor. Most lay people, however, don't know how or aren't comfortable talking about such things, let alone trying to help you handle it. Others have too much on their own plates already with their own behind-doors problems. Don't take it personally because if they're refusing then they're avoiding the possibility of maybe ending up making you feel so much worse than when you started, which is obviously NOT something they want on their consciences and is them perversely doing you a favour.
Your dad is alone for one reason and one reason only: he has wantonly pushed everyone away. Read that 10 times on the trot, please. You didn't "leave him", you were forced to. In a work setting, it's called Constructive Dismissal - go Google. It was him or you. And he abandoned you *long* before you turned around to do no more than acknowledge then act on it.
To wit: "What kind of sick person tells their child that and then does a disappearing act and returns days later like nothing has happened? " Here, you've just answered your own question: A SICK PERSON.
"Telling me that he loves me and deep down i know he'd do anything for me and he doesn't know why I left. Well, he didn't 'love' me when he raised his hand to me and beat me! He would only do something that benefits him. He knows why I left I did tell him clearly why I was leaving and what he'd done to me. One more thing I'd like to say is.... who do you know you can trust when the people you think you should be able to count on let's you down. I can't trust anyone. Im always trying to work out their alternative motive for wanting to 'be there' for me and the whole "im here if you want to talk crap" No! People will talk to you all day if you say you're fine and well but as soon as you say okay maybe im nkt okay I'm having a crap day they're like see ya! I really do detest people. When people are sat there telling you that they know what I'm feeling and going through when they're reading out of a text book does make me mad they have no idea as they have their perfect lives and after all I'm not their problem its just their job to go there there i understand. Haha, the last bit turned into a bit of a rant. whoops! Thank you"
What do you mean 'whoops'? Don't stop there on MY account - you go for it. You've got more justification than most. Do you not think you do? And would you try to keep a large poo inside you for weeks, months, years, as well? What do you think would happen to you if you did? There's your answer: better out than in. Imperative, in fact.
But anyway, he means when he wasn't drunk he could stop to remember he loved you (and presumably show it). Well, tough tittie to him because he cancelled it out whenever he used you as his personal kicking cat. It's no good putting love credits into someone's bank if the very next day you're going to withdraw them, is it. Where does THAT leave the balance? Answer: zero. What is he - thick? Well, emotionally - CLEARLY. And that's his whole underlying problem: no-one put him through "emotional school". I imagine the schoolteacher, his own mum, must have been too busy and exhausted with constantly trying to deal with or fend off her husband, his dad.
You sound like a natural-born self-counsellor 'in the rough' to me. You just lack greater explanatory data and experience of types like him. (What did your sister have to say about him and everything that happened?)
I know you THINK you're punishing yourself (which will just generate *more* guilt), but actually you're not. You're just redirecting attacks that your animal mind would wish to be exerting fairly and squarely onto animal-him, the predator-perpetrator, but because he's not there/that's not possible ("not the done thing"), and in the absence of anyone else deserving, you yourself will do. So if you can finally adjust your attitude to PITYING him and his refusal to seek help, that will act as a powerful antidote to all the stored-up anger that has no-where else to go except stay inside you OR which, when it does manage to come out just a little bit, gets told to make an immediate U-turn by learned guilty conscience atop what should be the normal amount.
Is this making sense? If it is, it might not help in any way you can discern just yet. You might need time to chew it over, swallow it, digest it and then assimilate it before it goes PING!
Meantime, have you ever tried beating up the sofa cushions whilst yelling, 'My dad is a nasty, pathetic, f*cker of a weakling who takes his moods and rages out on anyone else who has to let him!'? I suggest you do - or try taking up taxing physical exercises, like running or better yet, kick-boxing/karate - because every time you let some angry energy out like that, there is less and less for your super-ego to command into doing a U-turn.
Now to your brother: how on EARTH could any sane, rational person think it makes any sense to blame YOU for his copping-out? Unless you forced him at gun-point, it doesn't wash, not one iota. But by the same token, you can't hold against your sisters the fact that they were so  shocked at witnessing/learning what you, a member of their one-and-only family, were doing to yourself and  desperate to make you stop, using an hopefully instant tactic called 'make her feel too ashamed to repeat it'. They would have known no better way of tackling it. Coming to terms with why they reacted like that is easy if you try to imagine walking in on either of them, only to find them chewing on a lightbulb, mouth full of broken glass, blood dripping down their chins... You'd be shocked and desperate to try absolutely anything you believed would work as an instant Off switch as well, think about it.
There are certainly ways of being able to test the water when it comes to whether any person can be trusted or not and/or what their limit is, and it's actually very easy, but we'll get to that bit later.
I don't know what that "when you're dead I'm going to get someone to rape you" nonsense is all about though. It sounds *very* childish. Were you and she in a heated verbal altercation at the time?
(By the way, did you like Tartan's pasted-in article? One of its cruces is that you can turn lemons into lemonade. And that is 100% true. You can actually turn this horrid childhood to your major advantage whereby (and I kid you not on this!) you reach the future point of raising a glass to your dad and being ever so grateful that you got put through the mill much earlier on than other people do and thereby ended up with rippling mental muscles that make you a force to be reckoned with. You won't even *need* trust, let alone have trouble identifying the Green lights that say it's safe to take another shuffle closer to someone.
Your particular lemonade is going to be the De Luxe variety. Already you're vastly superior in that regard to most other people out there, and don't even realise it. YET.