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I personally was gaslighted by my abusive mother from age 3 until 17. She is still alive and I am estranged from her. Gaslighting in my opinion is the most cruelest form of torture. To make it where the victim can not even find refuge within themselves. They make you question your own sanity, question what you think is normal and what is not, question your innocence. This all occurring in my formative years scarred me for life when my only crime was simply being born.
First I need to recommend professional therapy. It is expensive, but if you can afford it take advantage of it.
In your case you need to acknowledge that you are no longer in the abusive relationship. That is now in the past. When healing yourself you need to see the importance of the present moment. The present moment is the only time healing takes place. Realize that the past is over and the furture is not here yet. Your abuser was hard on you. Sometimes we tend to be just as hard on ourselves as our abusers were. Self compassion and self love is going to be very important on your path to healing (and you will heal). You may also utilize cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to deprogram any distorted thinking you may have developed.
As a grown man in my 30s, I still was struggling from abuse that happened in my childhood until I made a conscious effort to move past it. I am more than confident you will get past this. I will share with you what has helped me. I hope it helps you.
-professional therapy (when I have the luxury to afford it)
-daily meditation (I often practice with Buddhist monks and nuns)
-staying fully present in the moment
Books that helped me:
For CBT to retrain negative and distorted thinking, this book is top rated.
For regaining self esteem and self worth this book helps me.
For any depression you make have encountered
Thank you both for taking the time to listen compassionately and put forth loving words.June 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm in reply to: relationship dragging me down (trying to stay mindful) #58727
Thanks all for the feedback. Confirmed what I already knew. But it is always helpful to hear it from someone else.
Just received mine.
“Radiant Life of the Heart”.
I have been estranged from my entire family for several years. Until facebook came along, I never truly knew how racist and hateful my entire family truly is. Through facebook I also learned how my father was a bully in high school and still is a bully.
It has been a sorce of my shame and suffering. And it is visible for all the public to see. Before facebook came along things were much more private.
Thank you all for your insight and feedback. Although I try to stay in the present. I do have a deep fear in the back of my mind of the emotional pain returning to me. It is a horrible darkness and is similar to quicksand. It lies to me, makes me feel horrible about myself, makes me feel hopeless and unable to breathe. Since I started practicing mindfulness, it hasn’t returned. But I still have bad dreams, though not as often.
Try using post-it notes as reminders. Listen to audio with possitive affirmation. Try setting the wallpaper on your computer or phone to show positive and motivational messages.
Me personally, I have an app on my phone. Every half hour a soft bell chimes once. This is a reminder for me to stay balanced and breathe.
As for “finding a partner”, please don’t stress too much over it. First be comfortable with yourself, by yourself. Fully love yourself before you can share your love and happiness with someone else. This is much better then relying on someone else to come along to make you happy. Try not to hang your happiness on other people in general. Besides, you want to meet the right person. Especially if you have children.
Stay in the present, don’t be too hard on youself, and remember to breathe. You have many things in your life thay you can be happy with and enjoy NOW. Once you master that, things can start to fall into place.
I am in my 30s and was horribly abused all throughout my childhod. The trick is living in the present and not dwelling in the past. Stop yourself from dwelling in that dark corner of your mind. Love yourself, be gentle with yourself, have compassion for yourself. Positive affirmations are a HUGE help.
You can forgive your abusers. That is for your benefit so it doesn’t need to be forgiveness granted to their face. My abusers are still alive.
Please feel free to read my personal journey of getting over life long scars caused by childhood abuse.
- This reply was modified 8 years, 4 months ago by D.
Scientifically speaking, meditation quiets your mind and brings it to a temporary state of normalcy. Regular meditation can actually repair the neural pathways that lead to the anxiety. Cutting it off at it’s source. I know first hand. I tried therapy, exercise, and medication. Fortunately I was able to pratice meditation with monks (you can use guided meditation on YouTube). I know for a fact it works!
I would also like to recommend possitive affirmations to boost your confidence and make you feel better. There is a video on youtube by paul santisi called “I am”. You are bombarded by possitive affirmations. When you are feeling uneasy with anxiety tell yourself you are calm, confident, relaxed, and full of love. Even if you don’t feel it at the time. Once that starts to calm you down, you can start meditation. With practice you will need to keep it up daily. This will keep you out of the quicksand (because that is what it feels like).
Many buddhist practitioners will also recommend embracing your fears and anxieties. Love them with compassion, but don’t let them define you. When they arrise, treat them tenderly like a mother treats her child when it is crying. This will lessen the suffering out of the whole experience. You are more than your emotions, worries, fears, and anxieties. Let them make you stronger and know you can not know happiness without suffering.
Keep us posted 🙂