28th June 2016 at 2:38 pm #20344
Feeling like it was all my fault after all.
I thought I had got a gage on things and that id started to work out why and how he abused me. It was hard but I thought I understood but now there’s a spanner in the works and I feel like it was all my fault.
My parents love me and have always been around to help me with practical things but emotionally they’ve never understood me. I respect we are all different. They aren’t emotional people- I am. I’ve grown up being told I’m over reacting to things and have no reason to be upset etc etc. it’s hardly an abusive upbringing. I know that and I’m not at all saying I had a bad childhood because I didn’t. But being told that has over time made me feel that my feelings are wrong, that when I’m hurt I’m wrong. This had helped me to believe that’s why I tolerated abuse….
But today I was reminded of a situation as a teenager which hugely relates to my birthday with him.
I’ve always been a fussy eater, I don’t eat meat and my diet it very limited. As a child my parents tried to make me eat things I didn’t like, made me stay at the table until it was all gone and even tape recorded me crying over not wanting to eat. They played this back to me as a child to show me how ridiculous I sounded throwing a tantrum. I developed huge issues over food and anxieties over meal times. By the time I was in secondary school they had pretty much given up trying to force me and they let me fend for myself over meal times. I’m consciously much much more laid back with my daughter… Probably to the point where she’s fussy because I never make her try anything… But anyway, that pathetically must be where some of my anxieties over food come from, eating at other peoples houses and in restaurants is always a stress for me. I hate to offend people if I don’t like things so I usually try and avoid people cooking for me at all costs.
So anyway, years and years ago it was my mums birthday, we arranged to go out for food and it was the first time we were meeting my brothers gf too. We went to a carvery which is my worst nightmare. That’s no one thing I eat. So similarly to this incident with him on my birthday, feeling very anxious and now wanting to make any trouble, I said that I would not have anything and I would eat when I got home. My parents were noticeably angry and insisted they order some chips… Sounds familiar huh…. Eventually I agreed but I felt so embarrassed that it had caused me such anxiety. I sat at the table feeling like an utter freak and for the rest of the day I was treated and possibly even told that id set out to spoil my mums birthday… That I was just an attention seeker. I felt terrible. I didn’t understand anxiety back then so I had no idea why I felt how I did… As a result I just felt I was a bad person and not normal.
Recently I’ve been thinking that my feelings should be validated… That on my own birthday he should’ve respected that I told him I didn’t want to eat… Maybe he should’ve even seen how upset his forceful behavior was making me. But then remembering back to the situation with my family. They were equally as frustrated with me that day. The only difference is that I didn’t stand up to them verbally. I know I sat there looking grumpy which they became more angry at… But that’s what he did…. I felt unhappy and couldn’t visibly hide it. Only i had a moment of madness believing that I wasn’t wrong in saying I didn’t want to eat so I stood up for myself…. Which resulted in him physically attacking me.
I’ve been believing I was rite to stand my ground but reflecting on that situation with my family, they behaved exactly the same way. It’s no wonder he lost his temper with me 🙁
28th June 2016 at 4:11 pm #20347KIP.Participant
There is never ever any excuse for abuse. You did nothing wrong. It’s not your guilt to carry. You are a normal decent person and deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. He spat in your face. You did nothing wrong. You’ve been programmed by him to accept guilt. That’s how he manipulates you. Try not to overthink because their brains are not wired correctly and what your parents did was what they thought was in your best interests. To try to help you eat healthily. Everything he did was in his interests. Your well being was never of interest to him. They only care about themselves x it will get easier. The fog will lift but you will have down days when you question yourself. Your self confidence was at rock bottom. Only way is up👍👍😍😍
28th June 2016 at 5:11 pm #20356
Oh Starmoon, im so sorry you are feeling doubtful again but its not true what you thibnk he is abusive to you and was that day
Your Parents wanted to see you eat well and I know they support you practically but it was wrong of them to tape you crying that would have really affected you.
My Parents did not really deal with my emotions well either, but that doesnt mean that we are wrong, they can be wrong in how they dealt with us.
You have anxieties around food most likely caused by the way they handled you that is not your fault. My son was awful with eating for a long time, he was so fussy he would basically only want cheese and potato pie, then he used to like chips and I was concerned about it but did not force him and now he eats everthing under the sun even things like kangeroo and non common foods.
Its easy to build up battles with children over food and it can make issues for them when older. I used to at times time ask for my beans to be counted and my chips annd I did not want even one more than I asked for , my dad was impatient with me and he force fed me milk off a rusk, which was wrong,I only wanted the rusk not the milk left in the bowl I still hate milk on things now and gag at it, food can be a means of children controlling a situation that is bothering them, so you are not to blame its your parents handling that was at fault in it although meant in a good way.
You say you felt you were a bad person and not normal, no you were anxious and had issues related to food which came because of the way your parents handled it and made it an issue foryou, that does not make you bad or not normal so these feelings were already there and then he has reinforced them in you, by saying that its you, but its not the truth, you have rights to eat what you want or not eat what you want, no one can force you.
He was down right abusive to you, being impatient with no compassion , you were already on edge with all he had put you through for so long and I cant make decisions sometimes now over evvn small things as we have been pressured and controlled so much to do as they want.
Please don’t blame yourself he handled it all wrong , he abused you and that is a fact there no excuse in the world for a man to be abusive like he was, he may as a normal person felt a bit frustated but he was downright abusive to you, spitting in your face, throwing you on the bed, taking away your rights to make a call then lying, all beacuse you stood up to him that was the right thng to do, he cannot control you ,do hope you can realise fully what he did was abuse and no fault of yours at all, xxxxx
28th June 2016 at 5:35 pm #20358SerenityParticipant
Your parents may have been good in a lot of ways, but probably not any good at dealing with emotion. But they were wrong to make you feel ad for having emotions. Everyone does, and it’s unhealthy to suppress them or get angry with others for having emotions.
My ex filmed my eldest when he was upset. I don’t think taping someone’s when they are upset is a good thing. It crosses respectful boundaries. Your parents made an error I judgement there. My ex threatened to show my son’s friends the film of him crying- he ruled by humiliation like that.
Denying someone the right to have feelings is in fact a form of abuse, really. Maybe this incident of being taped left an imprint. It would be good to bring this up at counselling.
I was also labelled the sibling who was ‘too sensitive’ but now I see that my family had a lot of too domineering people in it. I am happy to be me, and other people seem to appreciate me! I am glad I am not like my abuser, either. You aren’t your family- you are you. And there’s no excuse for unkindness or abuse. And your ex is 100% for certain an abuser.
28th June 2016 at 5:49 pm #20359SerenityParticipant
PS I think your parents could have dealt with your eating problems in a healthier way X
28th June 2016 at 7:11 pm #20364
Thank you so much for your replies.
I knew that I needed to make sense of why and how he abused me. Nothing made sense before but I suppose this does. I’ve always felt that my own feelings were not important.. Or rather that others are more important.
My ex has filmed and recorded me crying in order to prove I’m crazy… Even if I thought someone was crazy, I don’t think I’d record them- I’d comfort them!
My parents had such trouble with me over food… They couldn’t get me to eat anything and I threw awful tantrums apparently. It was actually my dad who tape recorded it.
In some twisted logic, I suppose he did it for the same reason. Because then If I started to throw another tantrum he would play the recording and say see ‘this is what you sound like’… I suspect that he regrets doing that and I do seem to remember him saying a few years ago that he shouldn’t have done it but he didn’t know what els to do…. I think my generation were of the generation that were made to stay at the table and eat what ever was in front of us, maybe because my parents were post war children them self and bought up not to waste food etc.
I don’t know why I was so determinedly fussy. There were days id sit at the table for hours not wanting to eat what they’d made. When they eventually gave up trying to force me, I would go hungry but I remember this being preferable to eating something I didn’t like. With my daughter I will just make something I know she will eat… And if she doesn’t want it, I won’t force her. I would never dream of making her sit at the table until it was gone especially not if it made her unhappy… But that wasn’t unusual for me as a child… All my friends have similar memories of meal times- it’s just how it was. It obviously did effect me as I know I have huge anxieties over food. I do know that my parents regret how that handled things and they regret it even more now they see how i handle things with my own daughter. They specifically go out of their way these days to cook food they know I will like and the same for my daughter. They never devalue her when she’s upset… In fact they probably pander to her far more than I do. They aren’t emotional people… I’m very different to them and my brother. And I’ve always felt it to. They have made me feel it by telling me that I’m too sensitive or over reacting. I’ve often feel so angry at myself when I’ve been upset over something and I think that Stems from those occasions. I can see that there’s a difference between them and my ex. At least I hope there is?! They never deliberately set out to make me feel that my feelings were not important and they didn’t punish me for having them. He did, he’d tell me I’d gotten things wrong, that the way I behaved when I had anxiety hurt him. So of course I felt bad for everything I did.. And I had nothing solid to fall back on because I had zero self esteem anyway.
I do get lost in the confusion sometimes and because of that I’m feeling really hopeless today. I feel a little sick looking back over times when my own feelings haven’t been allowed. That day my parents backed me into a corner- I was considered as the one making a problem because I was still seen as a child that they could make choices for. And i never had the confidence to stand up and say that I wasn’t. It’s really hard to be working these things out. To think that if I had have realized all of this sooner then my life mite have been allot different… And I wouldn’t have been with him 😢
28th June 2016 at 10:38 pm #20382
Hi, My husband has recorded me when ive been upset, they seem to get a kick out of it, your Dad’s motive was not for the reason im sure.
I think many of us ladies on here have had issue since childhood that have affected us and made us more vunerable to abusive men.
Your Dad you see can see his error and admits it, the abuser never ever will or if they do say sorry its for their own sakes never ours to let themselves off the hook.
Life is so imperfect and parents make mistakes with us and it can leave us vunerable but at least you are looking at things now and starting to see the truth but don’t ever think he wasn’t abusive , he was, and what ever issues you have he should have been kind and understanding and compassionate and tried to help you thro them, but these men are so selfish and dont care about what we go through.
You know I have monophbia a real dread of being alone, well I have be feeling stronger , even posted on it yesterday and today he reduced me to tears I just sobbed all in minuetes, he had to get taxi to pick up some materials he needed for work as his usual help was noy available and he lashed out verbally at me becasue I couldnt stay alone so he could go out and get them himself, his eyes turned black, he looked with such resentment and hate to me and it shattered me but I spoke to my WA worker this afternoon and it helped, she said she knows I always do my best , walk the extra mile and go thro a lot at times to do the best I can, but he is hateful about my phobia which I beleive he has helped to make worse, so I have issues but it does no mean that he can treat me with such hatred over them, ive picked up now except a headache from crying but these men are so vile, I had a friend with monophobia and she had an abusive husband and used to say he babysat her , he was cruel but she got out divorced him and now is married to a lovely man whom never treats her that way, she has many issues both emotional and physical but he treats her with such care and respect and understanding, think if it were him that had struggled over that food on your birthday treat would you have treated him the way he treated you, Im sure you would have been kind supportive and helped him, Ive been realy supportive and kind to mine despite all he as put me through as we are normal kind caring peoele but they are incapable of being normal and understanding xxxxxxx
28th June 2016 at 11:55 pm #20392Twisted SisterParticipant
sounds horrible… i think denying/invalidating/deriding a child’s feelings is pretty abusive isn’t it?
confusing and upsetting for the child, and to have recorded your upset and openly laughed at your behaviour as they replied it to you to show you how stupid it sounded!? They might not have known how to deal with it, but thats quite some length to go to?
To not respond to your emotional needs is abusive also, as is force-feeding, which understandably will set up an unhealthy relationship with food.
29th June 2016 at 12:18 pm #20417
Thank you for your replies. I don’t know what misguidedly made my dad make the recording of me as a child. I remember lots of incidents where I wasn’t validated when I were ill or injured, told that I was over reacting, that shingles was a heat rash…. I was told when I first broke up with my ex that I was only crying over a man- like I had no reason to be upset that I wanted a man and to be loved. I recognize that my parents never meant to make me feel devalued… I argued with my mum yesterday about the incident when I was younger and she said herself that she was wrong, that her and my dad regret allot but that they didn’t do it to hurt me. They thought it was best. This is something I need to remember. They aren’t evil- just made mistakes. But it’s hard to differentiate if he just made mistake or if he really were an abuser. I know I make mistakes in the way I behave or speak to others. I often maybe make others feel bad about themselves but I don’t mean to and I don’t take any pleasure out of it. Often with him I felt really resentful for things and put up huge barriers which I know made me come accross as very standoff ish…. I felt this was justified, I wanted to love him and be open but I felt hurt by him and didn’t feel like I could trust him. I wish I knew in my head definitely that I couldn’t have prevented this with my own behaviors
29th June 2016 at 1:56 pm #20420KIP.Participant
Starmoon, given time you will accept that your behaviour has nothing to do with the way he chose to respond. Abuse is very complicated. My ex often set me up to fail, just so that he had an ‘excuse’ to launch into an emotionally terrifying verbal assault. He is the sick one, not you. Only time and confidence and self esteem will allow you to recover and see clearly that he is responsible for his own behaviour and will not be held accountable x recovery will take time. You’ve been through an awful trauma, be kind to yourself x
29th June 2016 at 2:57 pm #20426
Starmoon, its natural to have put up barriers and felt resentment, we all have to do this with abusers, my barrier is insurmountable to my husband now and its not our fault, if they were normal and loving we would not have those barriers.
Your parents are not evil but he is, he makes no mistakes its all calculated and deliberate, to meet his own needs
I often wasn’t validated either as a child, i was poorly and even the GP said when he took my temperature , she has fooled us this time as I had a temperature which was followed by tonsillitis.
I had PND after my son, I could not function to do much at all and needed support, and the Phyciatrist said to me , go home and have a coffee morning you can convince yourself you are crippled, so so many instances coming in my mind now and we the bottle things up and cover up how we feel and dont speak out and get trampled on.
Our Parents are products of their own up bringing as well and do make mistakes ,most are not evil. x*x
29th June 2016 at 9:27 pm #20465
You’re all so strong. Thank you for your replies and making me feel my reactions are normal. We all make mistakes I suppose. My parents love me like I love my children but I guess it’s these little things that have built up. How horrible of the physiatrist to say that. I think things chip away. I spoke to my counselor about how midwives didn’t believe I was I labor with my eldest daughter and I nearly gave birth alone on a ward.
And then how doctors negligence nearly lead me to die when I lost my twins… Despite both times begging to be heard. She said it’s no wonder I’ve felt so devalued. X
Anyway thank you again x
6th July 2016 at 8:18 pm #21103AnonymousInactive
You didn’t do anything wrong by not wanting to eat something you don’t like! You shouldn’t be made to feel at all bad or pressured in any way to eat something you don’t want. Your partner was not at all justified in anyway with pressuring you or making you feel bad about not wanting to eat something in the first place. And the fact he was physically abusive when you tried to stand up for yourself is terrible. You didn’t do anything wrong.
And I get that your parents support you in other ways etc. but what they did to you as a child was abusive. No one should make you feel guilty about that or feel bad for having emotions just because they aren’t like that. I get that they say have good intentions but a lot of families who do abusive things will say that. It’s often how they get away with doing those things and making you feel bad about it still by saying things like ‘we love you’ ‘we had good intentions’. That may be true and I’m sure it is but that doesn’t excuse or change abusive behaviour. That is good that they apologised to you about it. And I’m not trying to say you should see them as ‘evil’ (as I think was mentioned in this thread) or terrible abusers. Just that what they did as you described is wrong. Full stop. It is not your fault. And it was abusive behaviour. Whether they meant it or not or it’s partly a generational thing or not doesn’t change how damaging it is and was for you as a child or would be for any child. I think seeing the effects of how your parents treated you and how that treatment (no matter how well intentioned) wasn’t right will help you to have more self esteem, better boundaries and live a happier life in the future. It has clearly had a damaging effect on you as you say and it is making you doubt yourself and the terrible abusive behaviour of your ex partner.
6th July 2016 at 10:11 pm #21122SaharaDParticipant
Invalidating your child’s emotions and neglecting their emotional health just lead to childhood trauma.
You fail to teach your children how to self soothe when they are upset and how to cope with difficult emotions leading to self sabotage and emotional difficulties as an adult.
Failure to acknowledge and deal with emotions makes them grow in power and spiral out of our capacity to remain calm, stable and our ability to cope.
Your parents did the best they could but they made a harmful mistake.
It’s not you.
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