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Letting go of Childhood mistakes?

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This topic contains 129 replies, has 30 voices, and was last updated by  anita 3 weeks, 4 days ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 132 total)
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  • #127115

    Katherine Ruby
    Participant

    You know exactly how I feel! You’re right it genuinely feels like I was born with something wrong with me, it makes it worse that when I try and talk to my parents about it they shut it down completely and don’t acknowledge any wrong doing. Nobody’s perfect but to accept mistakes goes along way I believe.
    I’m currently doing CBT now been going a few months learning how to catch my negative and anxious thoughts, trying techniques to challenge the thoughts to break the cycle. I don’t feel like I’ve ever been a positive thinker so I’m finding it really difficult but I know I have to keep at it because I can’t spend the rest of my life doing this. I do love going though everytime I see my therapist I feel a massive relief and feel like I am actually normal after talking through things. Wish I could see her everyday! 🙂 I hope you are okay too, you’ve helped so many people reading the stories I hope one day me or someone can return that. I do feel a bit more at ease about posting. Thanks so much.

    #127117

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katherine Ruby:

    You don’t have to wait for one day in the future to return my efforts to help you, you are already helping me, in the present. Often, when I read and articulate my thoughts in response, things get clearer in my own brain, and so, you are helping me at this moment, as I type this and about to type what is next: thank you.

    Every time I brought anything to my mother that was unpleasant for her- she shut me down big time, with yet another attack- blaming me for thinking wrong, feeling wrong, being cruel to her and on and on. I needed her help so desperately because I suffered so greatly, but no help from her. Looking back, it is not reasonable to expect an abuser to help, you just get more abuse.

    I strongly suggest you do not reach out to your parents for such help- you increase your hurt, damage as a result, is my strong conviction. When you see your therapist you feel a great relief- that is the person to go to, and I wish too that you could see your therapist more often.

    The False Core Belief that you were born wrong, faulty- well, it is untrue NO MATTER how true it FEELS at times. I still feel it about myself, when I do… and I remind myself, it only feels this way, but it isn’t true.

    Post anytime- as long as it is helpful to you, and I sure hope it is.

    anita

    #127119

    Katherine Ruby
    Participant

    Good to hear, I’m glad 🙂 I must admit I feel like I want to be someone like you, listening to people and helping them as much as you can. Like you say it heals yourself in the process. I’m sorry to hear your mother was like that too, we’re so dependent on parents that it’s hard for us to admit that maybe they aren’t as good to you as you thought.
    I do think you’re right I can’t go to them about it, unless they were to get therapy themselves (which isn’t going to happen) then there’s no point. Each time they shut it down I’m right back to being the child always craving their approval and attention.
    I will forever remember this False Core Belief you have now taught me, it feels true but it isn’t. As much as I will always feel embarrassed about my post I am sort of glad I did now, thank you so much Anita. You’re a wonderful person for what you do!

    #127121

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Katherine Ruby:

    You are welcome. And thank you for your kind words.

    Interesting, I forgot all about your first post here and remembered it only when I read your line before last- completely forgot about it for a while. Huh, isn’t that interesting. It may not have left your mind, but it left mine long ago. And now that I remember, those incidents of long ago that you described, I have no feeling about them, they mean nothing to me.

    You too can respond to threads here, if you want- not a requirement. Often enough Original Posters don’t return to their threads and don’t acknowledge responders who responded, including when the responses read wonderful and thoughtful. So you have to be prepared for it, if you do take on responding to any thread.

    You wrote: “it’s hard for us to admit that maybe they aren’t as good to you as you thought.”- as children we are very invested in thinking the best of our parents, so to fee that we are in good hands, so to speak, that we are safe. So we’ll make believe anything (those False Core Beliefs) so to feel as safe as possible, although not safe.

    When you are an adult, with help, you can see them, the parents, as they are when you are no longer dependent on them.

    anita

    #127196

    Anonymous

    Hi There.

    I worry about things in past.

    #127199

    anita
    Participant

    Dear paul:

    Share more, if you think it may help you.

    anita

    • This reply was modified 1 week, 1 day ago by  tinybuddha.
    #128309

    BothSidesNow
    Participant

    I’m so appreciative of this forum.

    I have two childhood/adolescent mistakes that continue to haunt me.

    One was saying the n-word. I think I was maybe 13 or 14. I wasn’t calling a black person that, but a black friend did overhear me say it. To be honest, I have no idea what I was thinking when I said it – I was jokingly saying it about another white friend and I think I was just being a stupid teenager and saying the word to be provocative or to “act out.” It’s embarrassing for me to remember using that word because I have been pretty active in supporting racial justice and issues impacting black people since graduating from college – I did community organizing around extrajudicial killings of black people and helped disseminate a petition to readdress gun laws that contribute to these killings. I have also advocated for racial justice and more inclusion in the context of my work with Planned Parenthood, in my HIV/AIDS research work, and my LGBTQ advocacy work.

    This is also incredibly embarrassing to me because I feel that, as a gay person growing up in the South who heard “faggot” and “queer” all the time and whose father was emotionally abusive due my being gay, I should have known better than to use words like the n-word. Not that I’m equating being black with being gay. They two different things, and some people experience both simultaneously. But it’s disappointing to me that my own experiences wouldn’t have made me more careful about the language that I chose in that situation.

    The other incident that keeps coming back to mind happened when I was maybe 13 years old. I was watching my younger cousin for my aunt. This cousin was about 5-years-old at the time. I don’t even think that he remembers this happening. But I was touching my penis under a blanket next to him while he was distracted and playing with something else. I remember saying something to effect of “Touch me” or “Touch the monster.” But he didn’t hear me and was too distracted by playing with the toys. I keep second guessing myself about this issue. I feel that I would have remembered it if he had touched me. My recollections are very fuzzy around this incident. I keep coming back to it, and it really eats me alive at times. But I truly do not think that anything happened beyond me saying that. And I don’t think that he remembers it happening.

    I’ve talked through both of these instances with my mother on the phone and in person over and over, so it’s not like I haven’t told anyone. I think I also go through waves of self-punishment over these issues because I suffer from bipolar II disorder, and the depression often pushes me to revisit instances from the past and engage in self punishment and questioning of what truly happened. I am also a person who questions a lot of things. I question the world, and I question myself on a daily basis and often don’t feel certain about anything.

    Just reading the responses in this forum has been helpful and typing this has been very cathartic. There really is this core part of me that believe I need to be punished severely and repeatedly for both of these incidents and that I am a defective human being because of them.

    #128365

    anita
    Participant

    * Dear BothSidesNow:

    The two incidents happened when you were 13-14. The first is about a word, one word you said jokingly. The other was about a short sentence you said. Nothing else, no action other than 3-4 words total, for both incidents.

    You suffer from bipolar II disorder (I just read through Wikipedia entry on it). You wrote that there is this core part of you that believes that you need to be punished severely and repeatedly for both of these incidents, that you are a defective person because of them.

    I am thinking these are the two incidents you are focusing on but the reason for this core belief you have, that you need to be punished severely and repeatedly is based on other, earlier experiences. The earlier experiences remain hidden while these two incidents (a total of 3-4 words said) are in the limelight of your mind.

    What do you think so far?

    anita

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  anita.
    #128647

    BothSidesNow
    Participant

    Hi Anita,

    Thank you for your response. It definitely highlights how my mind can tend to zero in on a particular incident.

    I still have a pretty strong internal sense that there is something inherently wrong with me, like I will never be good enough no matter what I do.

    #128679

    anita
    Participant

    Dear BothSidesNow:

    You are welcome. Maybe your strong internal sense (or Core Belief, as it is also called) that “there is something inherently wrong with (you)” is based on how you were treated as a child, a young child by a parent/s?

    Here is an example from a person I know: a young boy is having a nightmare, wakes up and cries loudly, out of sheer fear. His father wakes up and says with irritation: “what is wrong with you?” The boy says: I had a bad dream…” and the father says with a disapproving tone: “Well, get over it. Cry quietly if you have to. Don’t you know people are asleep here?”

    This is all it takes to instill in a child a belief that there is something wrong with him, something like: there is something wrong with me for feeling afraid/ for crying, etc.

    Anything like that, in your experience?

    anita

    #128693

    BothSidesNow
    Participant

    Yes. My dad was pretty emotionally and psychologically abusive whenever I wouldn’t do something right with regard to sports. I finally gave up doing them because I hated all of the criticism. To this day, I avoid team athletic activities because of it.

    There was also constant speaking against gay people from my father and from the community surrounding me. It was awful. I was constantly afraid that I would be kicked out of the house. I self-harmed a bit. To this day, I walk around with constant anxiety.

    #128695

    anita
    Participant

    Dear BothSidesNow:

    The good news is: there is nothing inherently wrong with you, never was.

    The bad news is: you believe otherwise. This is why such belief is indeed called Core Belief. It was formed early, encouraged and it exist deep in your brain.

    So you turned against yourself, harming yourself, trying to eliminate that believed inherent-wrongness. It is not those two incidents with those four words you said. It was the early and repeating input by your father.

    Are you still in contact with him? If so, what is the nature of that contact?

    anita

    #128699

    BothSidesNow
    Participant

    I’m in contact with him because he and my mother are still married and because I want to maintain my relationship with my mother. But he and I do not have meaningful conversations and hardly ever speak on the phone.

    #128703

    anita
    Participant

    Dear BothSidesNow:

    When you are in the presence of your father- how do you feel?

    anita

    #128715

    BothSidesNow
    Participant

    Pretty uncomfortable. I feel like I’m walking on egg shells and that I better present well to him.

Viewing 15 posts - 76 through 90 (of 132 total)

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