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Going through a separation

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  • This topic has 90 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Tee.
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  • #407683
    anita
    Participant

    * correction, 5th paragraph: “We hold no ill will or bad feelings toward each other”, you wrote in regard to your wife (not in regard to your ex-girlfriend).

    #407793
    Dan
    Participant

    Yeah. I am in therapy but I’ve also been sabotaging myself a bit with drinking and stuff. Im having a hard time. I know what I need to do I just can’t get started and would rather drown my pain.

    #407794
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dan:

    You posted two minutes ago, Sorry to read you are having a hard time tonight. You are at your mother’s home, drinking? I happen to be drinking some red night this Friday afternoon while watching the news about the Hurricane in Florida and the right wing government in Italy. Are you watching the news or any TV programming?

    anita

    #407796
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dan:

    I hope that you feel better real soon.

    If you would like my input on any topic, please let me know (by addressing me by name and letting me know what kind of input you would like). Otherwise, I say my goodbye and send you my best wishes!

    anita

    #407803
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dan,

    I know what I need to do I just can’t get started and would rather drown my pain.

    I hear you, and I know exactly what you’re talking about… I used to sabotage myself with binge eating, for many many years. The pain was just so big. I believed I was unlovable and unworthy – and that’s the pain I was trying to soothe. In vain, of course.

    Only much later have I come across the concept of the inner child. And realized that the child within each of us is so lovable and worthy, but he/she had been told, or had been treated by others in a way that he concluded that he is unlovable, that he is a freak, a nobody, that there is something terribly wrong with him.

    The child concludes that he is bad, even if he had done nothing wrong but was in fact a victim of abuse. In fact, the child believes that they deserved the abuse, and if they would only change and become “perfect” and “good”, that’s when the abuse would stop and their parents would finally love them.

    I’ve realized that there was a precious little girl inside of me, who was so heavily criticized and put down, who was never good enough for her mother, whose achievements were taken for granted and her even the slightest mistakes punished… I’ve realized that that girl needs my love and compassion, not my condemnation and judgement. She was a victim, not a villain. She needs my protection, but above all, my compassion.

    Dan, I know you’re hurting, and I am pretty sure that a lot of that pain is your inner child hurting… because he feels rejected and unloved, and probably unlovable too. But he is not unlovable – he is so precious and lovable! He’s been through a lot and he hasn’t deserved the abuse he went through. He needs your help, he needs your compassion, he needs you to take him into his arms and soothe him.

    That too is one important aspect of self-parenting: self-soothing.

    It’s good that you are in therapy. If you want to talk about anything at all, I am here…

     

    #407839
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Dan:

    I owe you an apology, so here it is: a week ago, Sept 23, I wrote to you: “I would very much want to continue our conversation on self-parenting for as long as it takes. Please let me know what you think about this reply and we can keep talking, for as long as you would like” (I added the boldface feature just now).

    But yesterday I lost my patience with you and said my polite, yet angry goodbye. I got angry because you often take a long time before you reply and because in your most recent post, you did not respond to the content of my post of the same day. I wasn’t tolerant or forgiving of the fact that you are having a difficult time and that yesterday, you were feeling particularly unwell. *Also, there is no wrongdoing in an OP (you) not replying to a Responder (me) at all, or replying late (I often tell members who apologize for replying late that there is no such thing as late replies, that replies at any time are welcome).

    Because Tee submitted such an excellent, moving (to me) reply on the topic of self-parenting, right above, and because I read her input to other members on the topic, I recommend that you take her offer to talk about self-parenting/ parenting the inner child. Sometimes it’s better that an OP engages in a conversation with one responder, so that the communication does not get diluted or disturbed by the participation of a 2nd responder. Therefore, I will stay away from a conversation I hope to take place, but will be glad to (patiently) communicate with you further following such a conversation, and/ or on a new thread that you may start, if you wish.

    anita

    #407849
    Dan
    Participant

    No worries Anita. There’s a lot of information here and honestly it’s not always easy or I’m sometimes just not in the mood to talk about my issues or my relationship. But trust me when I say that I appreciate all the feedback and posts that you took the time to write. I thank you for that.

    #407850
    anita
    Participant

    Thank you for accepting my apology, for your honesty and for expressing your appreciation, Dan. You are a kind person.

    anita

    #407920
    Dan
    Participant

    @Tee

     

    My question (if you would like to answer) is how did your parents respond to your sexual abuse? Did they know about it? What was their reaction? Because their response (or lack thereof) was probably crucial, and it either helped you, or sadly, it further contributed to you feeling traumatized.

    I’ll be glad to keep this conversation going, if you feel it benefits you

     

    I would love the carry on the conversation with you regarding this, but is there a way to communicate via a PM?

    #407924
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dan,

    unfortunately there is no option to send a PM on this forum.

    I understand this is a very sensitive topic and that you might feel uncomfortable talking about it on a public forum, even if anonymously. If you feel uncomfortable sharing more about your parents’ reaction, then I’d suggest to talk about it with your therapist, because I think it’s very important for your healing.

    In an ideal case, you should have received your parents’ love, compassion and protection, so that the harm and the trauma you’ve experienced would be minimized. But unfortunately, parents are often far from ideal, and their reaction can harm us further, rather than help us. I am sorry if your parents’ reaction was not as loving and supportive as it should have been.

    Whatever you choose to share here, I will be glad to answer.

     

    #407976
    Dan
    Participant

    My parents didn’t know about it and I didn’t tell my family until I was 23 years old.  I will be discussing this with a therapist as well. When I did open up and say something I believe there was some shock. We haven’t spoke much about it since then. Although I have brought it up on occasion when I was drunk. It’s definitely something I need to talk about as I feel the hurt and pain a lot right now given my situation.

    I also wonder a lot what my wife is up to. I want to text her but I know that’s not a good idea at the moment. When I’m down on myself I wonder if she’s met someone else although given how things happened and what she has going on in her life I don’t think she is.  I know that’s an insecurity on my end but it still crosses my mind from time to time.  Anyhow, I pretty depressed and down these past few days. Thanks for listening.

    #407983
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dan,

    My parents didn’t know about it and I didn’t tell my family until I was 23 years old.

    What do you think was the reason for not telling them? There could be plenty of reasons, e.g. your parents were really busy and you didn’t want to burden them with your problems, or they might have been criticizing/strict and you didn’t feel safe to confide in them, or your brother was telling you not to tell anyone…

    The fact that you didn’t tell your parents till you were an adult tells me that you either didn’t feel completely safe and secure to share something like that with them, or that you were afraid of your brother (or alternatively, you wanted to protect him), and that’s why you didn’t say anything.

    I can imagine that you felt very alone and frightened during your childhood, having to endure the pain and the trauma on your own, not sharing any of that with your parents. There might be even some similarity with your situation with your wife, where you felt very alone and miserable when she couldn’t spend time with you, and yet you didn’t complain, you kept it for yourself and tried to endure. Would you say that some parts of how you felt with your wife (when you felt neglected and rejected) remind you of how you felt during your childhood?

    I am sorry you are feeling down these days…and I know how it is to be abandoned and feel inconsolable… But I still think that a lot of that pain is the pain of your inner child. In fact, my guess is that your wife – when she was available and could spend quality time with you – was meeting some of your unmet childhood needs. And I think that’s why you saw her as your source of happiness…  What do you think? Do you think there might be some truth in it?

     

    #407985
    Dan
    Participant

    I don’t know why I didn’t say anything earlier. Maybe I felt shame or maybe I didn’t think it was a big deal. Maybe I thought that because of the times when it happened on more than one occasion that I was very young and so was he. I was probably 4 or 5 and he was 10 or 11. To be honest I can’t even remember how old I was. The one time it happened when I was older (maybe 8 or 9) is the time I vividly remember. Maybe I wanted to protect him. Or maybe I was just embarrassed.

    As for the feeling I had around my wife. I can say that she was a huge part of my happiness.  Whether that stems from childhood trauma I cannot say. It’s possible though. She did make me feel very valued and appreciated and it’s feelings I had never had before with someone. I can say that she was my first love. And when she was ignoring or rejecting me I’m sure there’s a part of it that felt a bit like childhood. I have other things that happened as well when I was a kid that affected me. I will tell you about that in another post. I feel very broken at the moment and do not want to feel this way. There are so many things that I know I need to address and don’t know where to start.

    #407988
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dan,

    I feel very broken at the moment and do not want to feel this way. There are so many things that I know I need to address and don’t know where to start.

    I hear you… The first thing is to have a lot of compassion for yourself. You don’t need to fix anything at the moment. Give yourself time.

    Healing begins with self-acceptance and self-compassion. Accept yourself exactly as you are at the moment, with all your good and bad sides. Accept everything, without judgment. Do you think you can do that?

    #407991
    Tee
    Participant

    Dear Dan,

    In my last post I said: I can imagine that you felt very alone and frightened during your childhood, having to endure the pain and the trauma on your own, not sharing any of that with your parents.

    It occurred to me – and anita already mentioned it – that the pain was probably too much for you to handle (and it would have been for anyone in your situation), and that’s why you disassociated and were not in touch with your feelings. It is very common for victims of abuse to disassociate because it enables them to survive the trauma.

    I am not a professional and don’t want to explain things that I know only superficially about, but I think that disassociation is the reason why you don’t really know why you didn’t tell your parents about the abuse. You said you vividly remember the time when the abuse happened when you were 8 or 9 years old. But you still don’t know why you didn’t tell you parents… Which would be a sign that you switched off your feelings and disassociated.

    Disassociation is common for victims of abuse, because it helps the person survive the trauma. It’s a self-protection mechanism. You did what you had to do under the circumstances. I guess the circumstances weren’t too good in your family: you said other things happened to you as well, and you are welcome to share about it when you feel ready. There is a reason why the first time you felt validated and appreciated was with your wife. It’s probably because it never happened in your family, with your parents. We can talk about this if you’d like…

    I think it would make sense to see a therapist specialized in trauma work, perhaps even someone specialized in childhood sexual abuse, to process the sexual abuse trauma. I unfortunately cannot give you competent advice on that matter. But we can talk about the attachment trauma, i.e. the relationship between you and your parents (which was perhaps different than the relationship between your parents and your brother?)

    All that – both the sexual abuse and the poor/inadequate relationship with your parents – could have led to you feeling lack of self-worth (which you mentioned in one of your earlier posts).

    I also think that it would be good to practice some self-care – to prepare yourself a healthy meal, or go for a walk, or go to a concert… You said earlier: “I would try to please her while neglecting my own needs“. Is there a need that you have (or a hobby), that you have been neglecting, and that you could return to now?

     

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