maybe there was nothing wrong with me – a revelation

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    I think I finally realised that there was nothing ever wrong with me – I was just me. I was just trying to be me and do me all this time.

    Even when that didn’t fit in with my families bullcrap expectations of what they wanted me to do or be.

    “Why can’t you do this?”
    “Why don’t you do this?”
    “Why couldn’t you have done this instead?”
    “What is wrong with you? Why can’t you be normal? Why are you such a freak?”
    “Why didn’t you get the top grade on the exam?”
    “Why didn’t you get the same grades as so-and-so?”
    “You could have gone to a better college…”
    “You could have done so much better…”
    “Why don’t you wear these clothes? You’re not going out with us looking like that. You could have made more of an effort. You look like a scruff.”
    “Why do you do this?”
    “You are doing it wrong. You can’t do anything right.”
    “You haven’t got any friends.”
    “Why don’t you like watching this TV programme?”
    “What are you watching/listening to? Turn that rubbish off.”
    “Why don’t you talk to so-and-so again?”
    “I don’t want you to go round so-and-so’s house.”
    “You’re not allowed to eat that. You’re not allowed to drink that.”
    “You were the most cleverest and intelligent at school, what happened?”
    “Why did you have to tell mom? I’m going to put your head into the ******* pavement you ****”
    “I’m going to tell everyone at school that……”
    “I’m going to get everyone at school to beat you up…”
    “I’m going to tell so-and-so not to be your friend anymore…”
    “You’re fat and ugly.”
    “You need to put all of your effort into your exams.”
    “You are not allowed to talk to so-and-so.”
    “You’re not too young for a beating, you know…”
    “Get up and go home now, you ****** ****”
    “Who would want to go to your birthday?”
    “Stop your swearing or I’ll knock your ******* teeth down your throat!”
    “Nobody likes you.”
    “I couldn’t take you seriously before, now I definitely can’t.”
    “Oh shut up whining about the deleted graduation photos that I clearly didn’t make any effort whatsoever to back up…”
    “I think not having a job is making you weird!”
    “Can’t you do anything right?”
    “Stop messing around…”
    “Your hair looks stupid like that, why don’t you have it like this?”
    “That’s because I have a job and you don’t!”
    “You are not allowed to make your own decisions.”
    “Are you even able to do that?”
    “Why don’t you want to go to cousin so-and-so’s wedding? That’s not very nice when he made the effort to invite you.”

    And sometimes afterwards, they will say the complete opposite thing to defend their behaviour.

    “I never said that!”
    “You’re being paranoid.”
    “You’re being irrational.”
    “I didn’t force you to go to that college.”
    “We were just joking!”
    “Oh, you asked for it.”
    “You could have done that if you wanted!”
    “I never said you couldn’t do that!”
    “You’re not fat.”
    “Why don’t you get a real job?”
    “Why didn’t you go to the party?”
    “We didn’t think you wanted to go with us…”
    “You brought it on yourself…”
    “Oh, be careful when you talk to so-and-so, so they don’t treat you like crap again.”
    “You take things too seriously.”
    “We did tell you!”

    Often when I call them out on their overall crappiness, hypocrisy and gaslighting, they just roll their eyes when they tell me I’m being too sensitive, and dismiss me. I’m not going to suddenly stop being sensitive just to suit them. Why is being sensitive such a bad thing?

    Like I’m not allowed to feel unhappy or pissed off because of the way they treat me.
    Like I’m not allowed to be in a bad mood.
    Like I’m just supposed to accept it when they humiliate me and speak down to me in front of other people.
    Like I deliberately choose to feel unhappy and depressed just to inconvenience them.
    Like I’m clearly imagining the crappy things they have said to me.
    Like I’m not allowed to defend or stand up for myself.
    Like I’m supposed to be okay with the fact they belittle me.
    Like I’m deliberately starting an argument just by demanding to know why I’m being treated like this.

    I have on-and-off depression and anxiety problems, especially social anxiety – I think I’m doing generally better these days. I have trust issues, I am wary about who I talk to. I think I have an extremely jaded outlook on life. I avoid personal relationships. I don’t have many friends or acquaintances, what few friends I do have I’m often worried they secretly don’t like me. This doesn’t seem to be a point of concern for my parents.

    I often wondered “What is wrong with me? Why am I such a freak? Was I a mistake? Why does everybody hate me? Was I just dealt the short straw in life? Did I inherit all of their worst traits? Why am I so unlovable? I just attributed this to the fact that every family has it’s rotten apple. I thought I was that rotten apple. Sometimes I revelled in being the rotten apple – they didn’t like me being disrespectful, rebellious, answering back or doing what I wanted – I just did this as a protest at how they treated me.

    But I do have one valid question – why was I always treated this way?

    I guess it’s taken me until today to finally realise this. There is nothing wrong with me at all. I have every right to feel unhappy. There is a valid reason for the fact I am unhappy most of the time, I don’t purposefully decide to feel unhappy.

    I’m doing freelance work at the moment – the pay isn’t ideal but I still earn my own money. I’m saving up for my next adventure – to move out permanently, travel, work as I travel. I don’t want to deal with them anymore, I can’t clear off out of there soon enough. I have goals – knowing I have something to work and live towards keeps me sane.

    I have accepted the fact I am never going to reason with my family at all. They are never going to take me seriously. Trying to get them to see how hurtful their behaviour is, this is an exercise in futility. We are never going to have a close relationship – this hurts but I accept it. I won’t be able to mourn and heal until I remove myself from them.

    I have learned a lot this past year of posting here on TinyBuddha. I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned a lot about my family. It’s as if I can finally see them for who they are. I am so grateful to have found an online community full of support and encouragement, interesting people and many viewpoints.

    I think these past few years weren’t so good, I’ve been at my worst – I’ve felt hopeless and despair but now it feels as though I’m taking the steps I need to take my life back and grab it by the horns. It feels as though I can finally feel a tiny morsel of hope in my life, and that things are looking up.

    There was never anything wrong with me. That’s not to say I’m perfect and I don’t have flaws because I do, but what they wanted me to believe about myself isn’t true.

    I am done playing the victim.


    Dear Joe:

    Wow! I agree with your thinking, strongly believing it is true to reality, absolutely and well stated. Your “I accepted the fact..” paragraph is so correct, so clearly realistic. The hope you feel is, I believe, about being clear with what is true and real. There is hope when our brain is congruent with reality and sick when our brain is deluded.

    “There is nothing wrong with me”- are the exact words I stated out loud a couple of years ago- it was a revelation to me. I said those words on one of my long walks. I remember that walk very well- it was the first time it occurred to me that indeed, there is nothing wrong with me. Only yesterday as I walked the same stretch of road, I remembered thinking and saying it for the first time. Since that first time it has been a process of understanding more and more the meaning of There-is-nothing-wrong-with-me.

    First my mother blamed me for just being. Then over time, as I showed the consequences of her abuse of me, she blamed me for the consequences of her abuse of me. It is like she stabbed me and I bled and then she proceeded to blame me for bleeding. The many examples you gave in your post point to this very dynamic.

    I want to attempt to answer your question: “But I do have one valid question – why was I always treated this way?” based on this and previous threads by you. Your sister passed on the abuse by your parents, clearing herself from extra distress that way. She and your other siblings identified with the abusive parents and did not rebel.They dealt with it by… passing it on and will probably pass it on to their children. You, on the other hand, you are the rebel of the family. You are the one who confronted your abusers and called them on their behavior. They proceeded to silence the opposition by attacking you further, using any and every “evidence” to prove you wrong (including your “bleeding” following their abuse) and by ganging up against you, as to protect the abuser and silent the (rebelling) abused.

    What do you think?



    Hi your post touched my heart. Please do your best to remove yourself from that toxic environment. You need to heal in order to grow. I know this because I too was battered with verbal and emotional abuse for many years by my family. I got sick and tired of being sick and tired and started changing myself. I began reading every thing I could that would teach me about positive energy.

    As an example of one of the million emotionally brutal things that my family dogged me into, was working for the federal government when I was 17 yrs old and for 32 years I HATED every single minute of it. Please don’t think I was ungrateful of having a secure job, but it wasn’t who I was and the internal battle was epic. They beat me down for SO MANY other things, that I became a person who didn’t have a voice and my spirit was broken. I became physically ill behind the constant bullying. It is not healthy for anyone to spend one minute not being true to themselves. Now at 50 years old I am finding my rhythm and healing my spirit. I am living my life exactly as I want to – I had so much hurt, anger, and resentment that I had to completely delete immediate family members out of my life and it has been the best decision I have ever made for myself. My inner circle is very small, but I know they are good people, and only want the best for me. The greatest gifts you can give to yourself are the gifts of self-reliance, self-awareness, positive self image, self-love, and to please yourself…HUGS and KUDOS to you for surviving the craziness, I know it has been awful and that you want better for yourself. Don’t let anyone ever tell you, that YOU aren’t living YOUR life correctly. Life is simply just too short for that level of crazy! Their perception of you is not your reality…

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by BlueBunny.
    Gary R. Smith

    {{I guess it’s taken me until today to finally realise this. There is nothing wrong with me at all.}}


    You have come far in your self-awareness and now have made a huge stride towards no longer having to ‘try to be you and do you’ because you are living you.

    Your story also touched me. It and the stories of those who commented, and the stories of all the young people who came through the organization where I was house parent to at-risk youth, and other stories I hear almost every day, speak to me of a deep disturbance in the human race. This is not news, and I am sure I don’t know the half of it. The disturbance seems to be growing more pronounced, as I recall bizarre incidents with neighbors in the past week and browse news items. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and no, it’s not the train. We are entering a time of greater turbulence followed by a global shift in consciousness. Those who’ve done the hard work of growing more self-awakened like you will have the choice for a more supportive environment. And take heart, there are many like you. You will encounter them on your travels as I have. You are uniquely Joe, and those like you are uniquely themselves, and you will find consonance with them.

    {{But I do have one valid question – why was I always treated this way?}}

    All felt questions are valid, Joe. Even the ones with no answers. Anita commented on the why and I have my own thoughts. But where I like to put emphasis is on your taking your life back and grabbing it by the horns. Keeping trusting yourself, keep relying on yourself, allow yourself to see others as they are and accept them as you wrote, and detach from their behaviors. Learn to not take what others say personally (as I am doing) and to turn to your core within as it is your constant inner sun. It is possible to feel the inner sun and radiate it in the midst of trying circumstances.

    {{I am done playing the victim.}}

    Perfect. Now take the step from saying maybe there was nothing wrong with you, and thinking you finally realized to knowing that you know. A Litany I wrote has been a tremendously powerful tool for me as i re-sculpt myself into the person I choose to be. You could write your own litany when you understand how it can be used – not recited like an affirmation but invoked from a place of clarity and will.

    If you would like some pointers in addition to what you have realized and others have commented, I am here.



    In order for something to be wrong with us, there has to be some standard by which we identify our wrongness. And that standard can only be found by comparing ourselves to others, which is completely arbitrary. Some of us need therapy and/or medication, but that just means we’re sick; that’s not the same thing as being wrong.

    Loneliness is the human condition. Even the people who love us the most can’t totally sympathize with us. I used to try to talk with my loved ones about my emotional problems, but it never seemed to fix the problems, and I only felt guilty for making my problems their problems. Still, it’s too bad that your family didn’t treat you with the respect you deserve. At least it helped you handle disrespect. Some people put others down in a misguided attempt to make themselves feel better.


    J Wrexham

    There was never anything wrong with you! Other people’s expectations are THEIR problem, not yours. You look about the same age as my children and I know I have been guilty of saying similar things to them, not because I didn’t think they were awesome just as they were but because I believed it was my job to help them fit in with what society expected. Sometimes as parents we act out of fear that our children will not make the best choices or take the ‘wrong’ path, but as part of my own journey I have come to realize that even as parents we don’t get to make those choices for others. Just keep being you and live YOUR best life. For your own sake try to have compassion and forgiveness for your family but never let anyone make you feel less than the amazing, courageous young man you so obviously are.

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