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Revisiting childhood abuse and neglect.

Old 03-27-2014, 09:48 AM
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Revisiting childhood abuse and neglect.

When we are abused as children we don't really understand that until we are adults and have ah-ha moments. I understand the contorted looks on extended family or family friends differently. I realize now that the expectation of my parents were designed to place us in harms way in a way they would not feel responsible. There is the sad truth that children take far longer to raise than a mentally ill parent can muster. We are left with a lifetime of adrenaline rushes and re-evaluating a terrible moment in the light of today.

I have been talking regularly with my sister for a few years. She is 100% disabled and considered delusional. I think of it as the PTSD because there is a traumatic event but it's a shattering event. So she slips from talking about reality to manufacturing event that help other people understand how terrified she felt. I will tell her where I was sitting, what I remember, and we try to tap our spiritual resources to continue to find love and mercy.

When I was young I was afraid if I didn't cry I would loose my ability to feel anything. It seemed like there is a world full of people who are OK and I can't let them see me cry. There's the worry that reliving an event is traumatizing and will just drive the adrenaline and unhealthy self-validation. There the realization that the mentally ill loved one is still mentally ill and attempting to protect their coping mechanisms. The mentally ill parents still wants to hurt you. I don't want to spend a few days feeling sick from the adrenaline rush.

The is a certain reward from recognizing how people did help, even though I didn't appreciate it. Helping kids in bad situations is really hard. I think being stuck at the library and reading about people who overcame obstacles helped me. I've found the strength to read my father's memoir, he died 20 years ago. It helps to realize that his thinking was fractured. I'm beginning to realize how influenced I was by good people who happened to be there.

I've been struggling with the verse of the 23 psalm that goes, "He leads me in the path of righteousness for his name sake." Because we always feel righteous, even if we are wrong. The closest I can come to understanding that verse is we need feedback from reality to grow. I think today's reality is the point because you can't fix the past. Only in today's world, can you pray for God's guidance and give your trust.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:27 PM
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Hello LifeRoad, and welcome to our little corner of recovery. You mentioned in another thread that your son was quite ill from his addiction. On top of the ACoA issues you mention, it sounds to me like you have a huge amount of stress in your life. I'm glad you found us and decided to join

Originally Posted by LifeRoad View Post
... I think today's reality is the point because you can't fix the past. ....
That is exactly how I feel. The original version of the ACoA serenity prayer addressed that issue and is my favorite.

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the past I cannot change.
The courage to change the future I can
and the wisdom to start today.

Mike
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:34 PM
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Thank you so much for this post. My parents are narcissists and my mother is borderline and an alcoholic, as well. I knew something wasn't right in my FOO for a long time, but I finally got an understanding of it all when I did extensive therapy in my twenties.

I had a cathartic experience today. My employer (who I also consider to be a very dear friend) came into the office today sobbing and asked me to listen to a recording. The recording was of a conversation her 10 year old daughter was having with her aunt. (my employer's husband's sister). The daughter has been telling my employer that she no longer wanted to spend any time with her aunt because she makes her feel terrible and weird although she hasn't been able to give any examples and on the outset, the aunt looks to be a very involved, spoiling, loving kind of a lady. The daughter secretly taped the conversation so her mother could understand what she was talking about. The conversation was a cunning, manipulative example of emotional abuse, guilt inducement and control. The kind of conversations I was raised with as a child by my parents. My employer was sobbing and basically flogging herself for ever letting her daughter be exposed to such cruelty. I know her daughter will be fine because she has been validated and will be protected from now forward. I strangely felt validated myself by seeing how upset the conversation had made my friend. It once again showed me how wrong it was how my sister and I were treated as children. This does not make me feel bitter, but relieved that the bruises of emotional abuse are recognized for what they are and that actually feels good and freeing.
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Old 04-01-2014, 02:55 PM
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Being validated is the most difficult achievement for a child. More often the child is condemned for being a victim and functioning adults are credible. I so glad technology is kicking in for kids.
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