Been thinking deeply about my childhood & the emotional abuse/bullying I was subjected to. Finally I'm allowing a lifetime of repressed emotions to surface. It's scary to face the impact it's had on me & what I lost as a result. I've spent years on & off working on this & I feel 'ready' (if you can call it that) to try & talk about it to someone else (my counsellor tomorrow). I really want to get it out but am worried I'm going to bottle it. Will I be too scared of the overwhelming effect & embarrassed/wary of letting such emotions show to someone else (even someone I trust). Will they just look at me like "what are you going on about, pull yourself together". I really want to let it out & know I have to talk about it to finally rid myself of the nasty darkness & feeling of badness inside. They have to go, they really do otherwise I feel I may burst from the inside out & it wont be pleasant.
I totally understand those fears, and I can relate a LOT. I am some steps on from you, however, due to the depth of therapeutic work I've been engaged in.
I will respond in more detail later, when I'm at home.
I can also sort of relate to this but in different circumstances... More importantly, well done for reaching the stage where you think you are ready to deal with these memories and feelings and see speaking with somebody about them as something positive!
Personally, i find saying the words the hardest thing and so in the past, i've actually written things down that i've wanted to say... The person you're with then usually can ask a question, which creates something two way which i think makes it feel a little less scary to say what you're thinking! I've also found watching how people respond difficult, so i've sometimes asked that she doesn't respond at all but i don't know whether that would be useful for you?
Chanelling how much you want to move on and let these things out into some form of 'motivation' to say them should probably help too. When you can hear yourself thinking 'No, don't say it...' try and remember why you're there and the way this can benefit you.
Reminding yourself that the person you're speaking too is only human too might help? They're there to help you, and not judge you.
I hope this helps and doesn't make it sound more scary! I really hope it goes well and you're able to talk about some of the things you're wanting to. I can honestly say, although it is hard, it really can help and be worth it.
And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears. And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears...
No problem, stellata, whenever you have time....
HighHopes; thank you so much. I did manage to start talking about it but you're right about saying the words being the hardest thing (I did take notes with me just in case). i know one of my brothers suffered big time for similar reasons (he used drugs/alcohol to work through it). that put me off them fortunately. i've never admitted to myself before it's had a devastating impact. admitting it to another person seemed almost impossible. instinctively i just cut off from the emotions. luckily my counsellor's good at asking questions; you're right about it creating something 2way. my feelings come & go in a split second; my mind shuts down.
sometimes watching her can be distracting, its a habit to obsess over what other people are thinking (then jumping to wrong conclusions). much of the time i couldnt look her in the eye; i think that would prevent me focusing. I do trust her & know she's helping. i was also able to tell her that i was finding it terribly uncomfortable & was afraid of being upset as it feels so new to me.
i looked at several other websites for depression, anxiety etc, it was only when i stumbled across this one that finally i could really admit that i was mistreated. it does feel really hard acknowledging it but i know i have to keep facing this massive dam of emotions because otherwise they will do me in.
I'm so pleased you were able to start talking! When do you see her again & do you think you will be able to continue with this?
In a way, it's also good that you've been able to learn from your brothers lessons? I also don't think cutting off from your emotions when talking about something difficult is unusual. I suppose with time, it might be something you become more comfortable with and maybe include your emotios too; but if not just talking about experiences and then going back to how you feel about certain things is also possible?
I can completely relate to finding what other people are thinking being distracting. That's why i think in the past, asking her not to react was helpful but i also very rarely make eye contact with her despite trusting her. How did she react when you said you said you felt uncomfortable?
I often also find that i find myself thinking 100% more about things after leaving appointments like that so sometimes write things down about how i felt and my thoughts to discuss next time. It's great this site has enabled you to asess properly how you are feeling and how to deal with it!
I hope you begin to make steps to accepting what happend and dealing with the emotions. Just remember, even though it might seem difficult at first, it does help eventually!
And there will come a time, you'll see, with no more tears. And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears...
Thank you HighHopes. I'm going back next week & desperately want to continue with this. It feels a bit like now or never. Today I feel all over the place, overwhelmed by it all, very shaky. When driving to work i had to pull over & just let the tears out. I almost went back home but decided to sit it out at work (i have caring colleagues, they noticed straight away that something was wrong. so nice to know people are there for you).
2 of my brothers were destined to be alcoholics they started very young so it put me off the drink totally. did me a favour i'm sure. i did write a load of stuff down & have made a realisation about finding what other people are thinking being distracting. instead of concentrating on what i'm saying, if i look at her then i go into "what's she thinking" mode & start looking for all sorts of signals. thanks coz i'd never picked up on the significance of this before.
When i said i felt uncomfortable, she said that was really good to know because it means we can pace things accordingly & not push too hard.
Moved on another scary step in this very shaky & unsure journey I am on. Thought some more about how I find myself distracted when trying to discuss (or face on my own) deep & scary things. I realise it's AVOIDANCE.
By focusing on what is around me or watching others' reactions to what I say (such as my counsellor) it means I'm not totally committed to the conversation or situation & I stops my deepest feelings surfacing. I can block feelings/thoughts more easily if it gets too heavy. It can be like a brick wall sometimes. Once it's up, that's it.
I suppose the avoidance protects me from getting too deep into scary things for fear of how I will feel. My fear is the feelings will overwhelm me when my dam of repression bursts. It'll wash me into a deep, deep pit of darkness. Once in the pit there will be no escape & I will be swallowed up forever & disappear into oblivion. I've been in a place like that before & don't want to go back.
Today I have realised that when I dont feel good (such as having to deal with bad news, like I am today) instead of just letting the feelings out, or sharing them with a truster other, I'm still pushing everything back inside. Although I desperately crave attention & closeness, I worry that people are going to notice I'm upset. The result of that will be - they'll be kind, I'll get upset & then of course fall closer towards that pit because the intensity of my feelings will be overwhelming.
This seems to connect directly to how I am always "putting on a front" for others. This front stops them seeing how I really feel & means I dont ever get the attention or comfort I crave from people when I'm upset or down. But it protects me from the pit. Its a vicious circle. I know the only way to break that is take a chance & let people see when I'm upset but it's so scary because showing emotions is something that was disapproved of when I grew up. It frightens me.
I feel suspended between the safety of avoidance and perhaps chancing it by allowing myself to cross a flimsy bridge over the pit. I wonder if eventually I make it to the other side, instead of fearing the consequences, I may become able to show my emtotions & then feel the warmth, comfort & love of others.
More steps forward in my shaky journey.... managed to admit to my counsellor that when I arrive I'm really anxious. May seem obvious that I'd feel that way I know but to admit it to someone is quite hard as i'm so used to hiding everything i feel.
had to be strong for my partner this week as she was ill (with an illness that triggers phobia for me as i'm scared of vomiting; sorry to mention it but it's relevant). so its been a really stressful week. i managed to talk about the phobia to my counsellor. i have finally realised the origin lies back in my childhood (surprise, surprise). My brothers used to get really drunk. they made me feel scared any time but when drunk they were even more unpredictable, as a result i have a real thing about drunk people. of course drunk people get sick so when someone gets sick it triggers fear. i'd never made this connection before as i was too scared to think too deeply about something i was so scared of
my partners was still off sick yesterday so this meant i didnt get my "me time" after my counselling session yesterday. during that time i usually hide in bed, feel safe, cry or whatever i need to do. not doing that left me really anxious. when i arrived at work i felt awful.
for the first time ever i managed to ask another person for a hug. usually being at all close emotionally or physically to anyone but my partner is scary. this was a trusted colleague who I know cares for me & i just thought it might help to take the plunge & let someone look after me. the hug didnt last that long but i think it was ok. didnt make me cry or freak so that must be good. i survived the day at work, dunno how but i did.
today i just feel, well, odd really. sort of desperate for something, maybe attention, to be cared for, perhaps hugged. i dunno. just uneasy. i'd quite like to cry but i'm at work so that's not an option. well, must go do some work before they wonder what excatly i'm typing.
I feel like I'm beating myself up over this issue & struggling to get my head round it..... I know it isnt healthy to let it go round & round but I just seem unable to shift my focus.
Last year on Christmas Day I rang my mother to wish her well. Despite everything from my past I still try to "do the right thing". Sometimes I do wish I didnt as it always seems to backfire. My mother didnt seem that interested in speaking to me & passed me to my brother instead. Wonderful, a conversation with my abusive brother on xmas day, just what I needed. She said he "wanted to insult me"...... most normal people would avoid giving the phone to him but instead she put him on. He was really rude to me & started swearing at my partner as well so I hung up. That was the last time I spoke to him. He died last February from alcoholism. I cant say I'm at all sad at the loss as I really hated everything about him. AFter he died i did try to think of something positive but there was nothing. Absolutely nothing positive about him in relation to me.
As a small child I can remember Christmas with excitement. How I wish I culd be that innocent child again, really I do. I hate the fact that my abusive family allowed my innocence to be destroyed & replaced with a load of crap instead. Horrible dark, dirty crap.
As I grew up our family Christmases got worse & worse. When my brothers came home it was scary ..... arguments, fighting, police in our house, shouting & unpleasantness. The worst time was when another one of my brothers came home with a massive wound in his face after someone glassed him. You'd think my Mother would be shocked & be caring towards him but instead she seemed annoyed, like it was something he did deliberatly to irritate her. I know he could be trouble but he didnt deserve that. It seemed a terrible reaction from her as clearly he was going to have a terrible, life-long scar. It was so scary to see him like that even after they'd stitched it up.
Because I last spoke to my abusive brother on xmas day, i feel that the day is looming heavily this year. I really want to get this Christmas/New Year out of the way now. I want to move on but am finding it really hard. I hated my brother so much because of what he did to me. Even though one my abuser's has now gone & I know he cant hurt me anymore, he still haunts me. I just cant get all this crap out of my head. I suppose I have to be patient while i work through all this stuff but i'm sick of feeling so crap. It makes me feel very angry.
I want to re-build future Christmas & New Years to make them more pleasant - just to get on with my life really & replace the crap memories with more pleasant ones. How I wish I could rediscover that child like excitement about Christmas and for life generally.
I wont be calling my mother on xmas day & I'm making sure I only spend the holiday period with positive people in my life. Someone said to me this morning that my brother didnt deserve a sister like me (i.e kind, caring, considerate). I know that's true and am gonna keep that in my mind.
Preparing for counselling session tomorrow, bad PMT anger and a really annoying colleague at work the last few days really are NOT a good combination
Having printed out some pictures of my rancid, bully of a brother (to help me connect with how bad he made me feel when he was abusive to me) has certainly done the trick. I feel so angry I could really destroy something. This isn't a good way to feel at all. The last few weeks I was more emotional & wanted to cry but this week it's like I'm out for revenge. Trouble is, since my brother's no longer alive, I can't take my revenge on him.
I printed off the eulogy from his funeral too. That doesn't make good reading either, people saying nice things about someone I hate???? Arrggghhhhhh, roll on counselling tomorrow and a bit of relief I hope.......