29th December 2018 at 1:10 pm #69528
Does anyone else find this time of year really hard?
My mother was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to me when I was growing up, she would call me names, manipulate me, gaslight, frequently tell me I was worthless, tell me she’d make me wish I’d never been born etc. I was a very shy child, eager to please etc so internalised a lot of this and had extremely low self esteem. I never imagined myself as a good person so it was only through forming strong friendships and relationships as an adult that over the years I’ve slowly been able to build up my self confidence.
It’s (detail removed by moderator) since I ended a (quite short) abusive relationship, and since getting out I have really had to face up to the effects of my childhood. I’ve been trying to understand and work through the ways in which my childhood, and the patterns of thinking and behaviour that followed from it, has led to me accepting abusive behaviour from others. This has been difficult and has led me to feel quite upset about the way my mother treated me. Then I feel stupid, because it’s in the past and I’m a fully grown adult now.
I visited my family for 3 days this week. I find Christmas stressful and really anxiety inducing. My mother no longer/ rarely verbally abuses me anymore, since I’m not in her control and I only visit fleetingly. But she is very cold, and unkind. She snaps constantly and is cruel to those around her. I find I’m extremely, increasingly sensitive to this and since visiting this week I feel so depressed and anxious. Also feel incredibly stupid for crying over it so much, because I feel like I’ve regressed to being a child again, and it feels s**t to be like this during a holiday.
I’m posting here because I wonder if anyone has similar experiences. How do you cope? I feel so lonely, feeling like this. I’ve never had tonnes of close friends, when I mention to people that I find Christmas very stressful and anxiety inducing, they do understand what I mean. But at the same time, they don’t, and I don’t ever feel I can fully explain my mother’s behaviour. An ex boyfriend quite some years ago told me to stop telling him sob stories, and his voice rings in my ears whenever I get the urge to talk to someone about my childhood. I feel stupid, needy, almost a bit manipulative like I am trying to elicit sympathy. But sometimes I just want to talk really.
Certain things my mother has said to me are going round in my head and I hate being stuck in these thoughts of the past. For example nearly a decade ago I confided in her that my father molested me, she never properly acknowledged it and years later said “well you deserved it.” It is hard to be around her when I remember that she has said these things, because I cannot fathom how a mother could think that is an acceptable thing to say to her daughter. But to people on the outside she seems normal, puts on her charms etc. My abusive ex made me feel worthless and stupid too, so that’s not helped bringing up these feelings. I hate being so lonely and depressed at this time of year but I don’t know how to ask for emotional support from others, or if i should spend time alone working through this by myself.
29th December 2018 at 1:28 pm #69531FlowerchildParticipant
Hello, Greenturtle. Both your parents were abusumive and between them they set you up to become a victim as an adult. But look – you’re a survivor, you got out! Well done you.
It’s always hard going home to your parent(s) as an adult, even when the relationship was healthy and supportive. You have been plunged back into a toxic situation – no wonder you’re feeling poisoned.
Friends can do only so much; have you had any counselling from, say, a psychotherapist? Are you in a position to afford some? A trained person could help you sort through and unpick some of the damage inflicted on you as a child.
It might be the best investment you could make in yourself. You are worth it, darling!
29th December 2018 at 1:51 pm #69534
Thank you so much for your reply. I’m in the process of applying for counselling through rape crisis, though I’m not sure that’s the right place.. I had thought I wasn’t able to afford therapy but I’m now thinking I might be able to start saving up for psychotherapy if I can prioritise it. Tried cbt but it didn’t help much. Had some great and helpful responses from people on here about therapy on a previous thread so I’m incredibly grateful to this forum for helping me get the ball rolling 💕
In the meantime though I guess I need to work out ways to cope on a day to day basis. I know these feelings will pass, but I wish I was able to do more rather than feel so depressed and stuck in my own mind sometimes.
29th December 2018 at 2:52 pm #69541LisaMain Moderator
Thank you for sharing with us about how you’re feeling. I’m sure many other survivors can empathise with you regarding this time of year and how it can bring up past trauma. Your feelings are completely valid.
I just wanted to let you know about an organisation called NAPAC, who have a lot of information on their website, including ‘recovery tools’ and a Supportline, which you can call on 0808 801 0331. Please have a look on their website for opening hours and further information.
Kind Regards and Keep Posting,
29th December 2018 at 3:13 pm #69544freedomtochooseParticipant
Hello there Greenturle.
Still got my fluish thing here so won’t post all of my reaction but just wanted to show you some solidarity.
I understand it to be for so many people like that because many many of us do not have the kind of family history that is reflected in the adverts on television, i.e. straightforward, abuse free.
Personally I find it better to understand that – than feel isolated around it.
I hope posting here goes some way of comfort for yourself.
29th December 2018 at 9:43 pm #69565
Thanks Lisa, the NAPAC website looks very useful. And thank you for your solidarity freedomtochoose, it means so much to be listened to and to know that you understand this kind of experience.
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