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  • #375453
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Nar,

    I’ve checked your older posts again, trying to get a clearer picture of what happened. You said:

    “The issue is my OCD actually started developing strongly after 25”.

    What happened at that time? You said you moved to the UK when you were 17, which was a shock for you, but you haven’t started developing OCD so strongly until you were about 25. So I was wondering if something happened that triggered those more frequent episodes?

    You’ve also spoken about how you tend to get angry, and then you blame yourself for getting angry. You feel guilt and sorrow, and you’re judging yourself:

    “My pattern is this- I get angry, then I beat myself up for getting angry, I feel sadness and disappointment. Then  I blame myself. I always blame myself for everything bad happening. … But I blame myself, beat myself up for what I did or didn’t do. Maybe I even think I deserved it. Remuneration, sorrow, guilt. I am very harsh with myself.”

    “I know for a fact many times I am consciously not aware at the point when I use hurtful language towards my partner or my family.”

    From the above I figure you get angry at your family or your partner, and then you blame yourself because you aren’t supposed to get angry, i.e. it’s not very mature or enlightened to get angry? So there’s an impulse that comes – something provokes you and you get angry, and you tend to lose your temper and say nasty things in the heat of an argument. Afterwards you regret it and start blaming yourself, and can’t stop thinking about it, thinking it was your fault. You start obsessively thinking about it and blaming yourself in the process. Is this what’s going on?

    Regarding your question about whether I believe I am healed, yes, I believe I’ve managed to heal my biggest traumas: I’ve developed self-esteem and a sense of self-worth, I don’t feel helpless any more, I don’t feel I wouldn’t be able to survive without another person loving me and taking care of me. It was a long process of going to therapy, working on myself, learning about the human psyche, learning from my own mistakes, and most importantly, healing my inner child. It’s been years of work, and it’s still not over, because there are layers, one can always go deeper. But yes, I can say I’ve managed to remove the biggest blocks to my happiness.

    #375455
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nar:

    Before I get to the OCD/separation anxiety topic, two quick comments on the beginning of your recent post: (1) “I know for a fact many times I am consciously not aware at the point when I use hurtful language towards my partner”- I understand the power of the urge to say hurtful things to your partner, but if your partner reacted aggressively to your use of hurtful language, if he/she hit you badly, let’s say (he shouldn’t, of course), you would not have dared to use hurtful language against him again.

    (2) “I don’t remember any of the personal problems of the girl I was”- but you do remember the OCD in early childhood, and you remember the silent treatments by your mother early on, don’t you (?)

    And now, to the OCD and separation anxiety topic: “my OCD issues.. I certainly experienced separation anxiety as well multiple times in my life. Firstly, it was when I left my home at 17.. this makes sense why my OCD started or became apparent after 20. I think I had it as a kid but the separation anxiety just exasperated it”-

    – I think that you experienced separation anxiety way earlier than 17: “what she did and still does- she gives us ‘silent treatment’ and withdrawal“(Feb 8).

    Silence and Withdrawal= Separation.

    When the mother of a young child stops responding to the child, regardless of the child’s efforts to get the mother to respond, the child panics. For the mother it may not seem so terrible to go silent for an hour, let’s say, but for the child, that hour feels like forever.

    “my OCD started or became apparent after 20”- no, your OCD started and became apparent when you were a child: “my OCD issues in my childhood… My OCD takes many forms and it has been part of me since I was a kid. Hair picking, hand washing, sanitising, negative thinking patterns” (Feb 5).

    *Also, your intense anger started and became apparent when you were younger than 10: “when my grandmother passed away.. I was a 10 yr old kid…I stayed alone with her at home during the day, she would ask me to make her tea or help her out, but I didn’t care to help.. I was this cruel kid” (Feb 8)- you were a very angry kid: your parents were at work, you were alone with your needy grandmother, and you didn’t want to be bothered with her. I think that you wanted to enjoy being alone, having a break perhaps from your mother.

    “Could it be that obsessive thinking is actually an escape? Escape from dealing with the painful situation or the actual problem? So the mind finds other things to keep itself busy”-

    – I think that OCD happens this way, and I will use the situation of a mother giving her child the silent treatment as an example: the child’s  mother looks angry, turns away from the child, the child says: Mom! Mom! What happened? – she doesn’t answer. The child goes after her, pulling her shirt, Mom! Mom! She angrily pushes her child’s hand away from her. The child, tears in her eyes, says: but Mom!!! The mother does not respond and goes to her room, closing the door.

    The child, left alone, shocked, hurt, scared, starts thinking: what happened? The child is thinking because there is a problem to be solved: her mother is gone and the child needs her mother back. She thinks: maybe mom is angry because I did something bad, what is it… she scans her behavior in her mind.. what did I do wrong.. and what can I do to get her back???

    Fast forward, the mother again talks to the child, feeds the child, smiles at the child.. the child relaxes, but fast forward, there it is again, another silent treatment, and the child thinks again: what happened, what did I do wrong, etc., etc. Over time, as the Problem does not get Resolved, the child is left thinking a whole lot and never arriving at a solution. With no logical explanation to her mother’s behavior, the child resorts to magical thinking: if I wash my hands, if I sanitize my hands, I will be a good girl and my mother will talk with me again, etc.

    Fast forward, the child is now an adult, she still thinks a lot, but she thinks away from emotional pain, she does not want to feel the pain she felt early on when her mother withdrew from her, so she thinks in circles, not committing to anything, saying things like, “my OCD started or became apparent after 20”, forgetting that her OCD started when she was a kid. And then, right after the above quote, continues to say: “I think I had it as a kid”.

    Well, did you have OCD as a kid or did your OCD start when you were 20?

    Notice this: you are very intelligent, but your thinking is not serving you well when what you know, you forget, then you remember.. then forget again. You need to commit to what you know is true, and take it from there.

    anita

    #375538
    Nar
    Participant

    Dear Teak,

    To be honest, sometimes I blame myself and obsess over it, other times, I just plainly obsess about the pleasant conversation i had with a friend etc. I think obsessive thinking is my reactions with regard to processing pleasure and pain/discomfort. If its something simple, i don’t obsess about it, the only connection i see is that i am chasing something with these thoughts. I am still at the early stages of getting comfortable with my own mind and not sure where it will take me, but I am ready 🙂

    I am so happy to hear that you are healed from your biggest traumas and developed self-esteem and  self-worth. Do you have any residue of anger left towards your mother? Would you say you have forgiven her completely?

     

    #375539
    Nar
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    I know what you are talking about. All I can say I really don’t trust my memories. I am not sure they are a reliable source to go by. I can’t even remember when it all started…I know only few things for a fact and it is that when i was a kid, i actually did feel very protected by my mother. My dad was working very hard and had little role in our upbringing, so both my sister and I were so attached to our mother, often beyond reason and to the point that she would go to toilet and we would both cry that she left us. And she was actually very responsive to our cries and falls and showered us with attention. i never felt helpless as a kid.

    So I have absolutely no memory of when “silent treatments” started. I only noticed it as an adult. I also know I have serious anxiety over separation, withdrawal, being ignored or given silent treatments. I see your point here that it must be connected to my childhood. But what if i cant remember when exactly it started? My memory is very hazy, as I mentioned i only noticed it as an adult.

    I also remember when I was a kid i was concerned with washing my hands and i was kind of a kid who’d ask the same question many many times. Like i remember we’d drive somewhere and I’d ask my dad every 5 mins if we have already arrived. Or if i wanted him to buy me chocolate, i’d remind him about it soo soo many times. not that i didn’t get that chocolate, but i had a need to remind all the time. I regarded these as early signs of OCD. I am not sure if i’m right or this was me just being a child.

    I just know i am extremely sensitive to being ignored. i’ll give you an example. I was with my partner in a park and i saw a mother of 3 boys, who left her 3 year old kid on the street shouting and crying calling “mom”, “mom”, she just ignored him and walked on. I can’t explain how this hurt me. i told my partner how crazy it is whats she’s doing, my partner said, well “you don’t know what that kid might have done” to suggest that i shouldn’t judge without seeing the full picture and maybe this is her punishment method. But my heart was just bleeding and i couldn’t look at it. And note my partner is the kindest person I’ve met in my life, so I was shocked he could say such a thing. I knew immediately what this woman is doing to a 3 year old no matter how naughty he had been is unacceptable and heartbreaking to watch to say the least.

    Then another example, there must be a reason why I get anxious when for example i am chatting with friends and they suddenly stop writing and forget to respond or get busy or etc. This makes me very anxious and fuels obsessive thinking sometimes. What is worse in the past, i was actually drawn to guys who used to ignore me and not be interested in me. The fact that they were less responsive made me vulnerable and eager to get their attention…THANK GOD my partner is not that kind of person. But this was pure luck that he turned out to be a decent person who’d never hurt me or ignore me in any way. But all men I was interested in previously emotionally somehow ignored me…

    What i am trying to say i am going to take some time to look into these issues and hopefully bring the puzzle pieces together, and if i have any new understandings or any memories I can rely on, i will share it here.

    Thank you so much for all your help, Anita! Have a lovely weekend! 🙂

     

    #375545
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nar:

    True, our memories of childhood are unreliable: most of us remember very little and what we don’t remember what happened when: we can remember an event happening during one night when in reality it happened here and there over the period of a few years.

    But we can rely on our memories in some ways. Let’s look at a memory you do have and how it is reliable in some way: “I actually did feel very protected by my mother… both my sister and I were so attached to our mother, often beyond reason and to the point that she would go to toilet and we would both cry that she left us”-

    – I believe that as a child, you really did feel protected by your mother at times, temporarily, while on an ongoing basis you were anxious, suffering from separation anxiety, that’s why you cried when she went to the bathroom. You remember the protection because it felt so good, but you somewhat dissociated from the memory of the anxiety in between the temporary relief of protection.

    “I have absolutely no memory of when ‘silent treatments’ started… what if I can’t remember when exactly it started?”- no need to remember exactly when it started, it is enough that you remember that it started by the age that you cried when your mother went to the bathroom.

    Emotional memories are a major way to understand our childhood experience. As an adult, recently in a park, you saw a mother “who left her 3 year old on the street shouting and crying calling ‘mom’, mom’, she just ignored him and walked on. I can’t explain how this hurt me”- the hurt is your emotional memory of times when you experienced something very similar to the 3-year old’s experience.

    Same thing when friends “suddenly stop writing and forget to respond or get busy or etc. This makes me very anxious and fuels obsessive thinking sometimes”- this is your emotional memory of your childhood experience: as a child you were very anxious and obsessive, just as you are currently, in circumstances similar to your childhood’s circumstances.

    You are welcome and have a lovely weekend yourself!

    anita

    #375591
    anita
    Participant

    * correction/ editing of the first paragraph above:  True, our memories of childhood are unreliable: many of us remember very little of our childhood,  and  we don’t remember the time line: what happened when. I remember events that in reality happened over days or months- as if they all happened in one night.

    #375681
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Nar,

    you asked me:

    “Do you have any residue of anger left towards your mother? Would you say you have forgiven her completely?”

    No, I wouldn’t say I have any residue anger, but it didn’t happen over night. I used to get triggered by her a lot: she would make nasty comments, and I would explode and start yelling and tell her nasty things too. Then she would accuse me of how horrible daughter I was, claiming she didn’t mean anything wrong, when she was clearly provoking. The result: I would end up being the bad guy, and she would be a poor victim.

    I’ve realized she could provoke me so easily because a part of me believed in her accusations. A part of me believed that I was no good and hopeless, and then the other part of me came to rescue by attacking her. But it wasn’t balanced, I’d lose my cool and later felt bad about myself. It just kind of confirmed how “bad” of a person I was.

    Now looking back, I think two things helped me change this dynamic: one was to start valuing myself more and stop believing her depictions of me, and the other was to work with my anger in therapy.

    For dealing with anger, there was one particularly useful exercise where you need to separate the good qualities of your mother (e.g. the caring, the financial and material support etc) from the bad qualities (criticism, shaming, not having faith in you etc). The “good mother” was represented by one pillow, and the “bad mother” with another one. The task then was to push away the bad mother and to embrace the good mother. That helped me to sort out the ambivalence and the love-hate relationship I had with her. Because I do love some of her traits, but I don’t love and don’t need those other traits.

    That also helped me keep my boundaries better and to stop her (calmly) when she starts condemning me and shaming me. She isn’t able to do that any more, because I don’t let her. But as I said before, all that resulted in being distant from her, keeping guard, and hardly communicating with her.

    #375961
    anita
    Participant

    How are you, Nar?

    anita

    #376523
    Nar
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    Thanks for checking on me.  I am good! I hope you are well too 🙂 Sorry for late reply, I had language exams to prepare for.

    Also, I have been looking into childhood traumas myself, I read Alice Miller’s “The body never lies” and was just trying to dig into my own childhood.

    I think I understand better now what you were telling me about “how I felt as a child” by my parent’s actions or inactions and obviously how some of these feelings are now suppressed/repressed or I choose to disassociate myself from them because it is painful to look into, also painful to let of my illusions. I was definitely deluding myself thinking that the fact that my mother hit me when I was a teen was something that I came to terms with. Deluding myself thinking that her authoritarian upbringing is something which didn’t harm me that much. I thought a lot about the source of my anger and rebellious nature. And why this is the reaction I have to most uncomfortable situations/relationships in life. I am sure it was because my parents forced me to be the way they wanted me to be. To behave well, study hard, be a good kid, make them proud,  be clean, etc.etc. I was a very shy, timid and confused kid. They  drilled obedience into me.

    Later, as a teen with hormonal changes in my body, I could no longer take these demands and expectations. I refused to eat. For one year, I stopped eating much. As a teen, I was convinced I wanted to lose weight to look better for boys, but now i know the reason why I stopped eating was because I could no longer take being forced to live up to my parents’ expectations and “culture”.  I was trapped and I had no way out.

    It is very interesting how these feeling “trapped” is something that followed me throughout my life. Whenever I find myself in difficult situations now, I feel trapped and dying to escape and run away. Just like I felt back then when i was a kid who just wanted to leave her family. So because I had nowhere to go and could no longer accept the fact that nobody understands me or wants to listen to me, all I could do was rebel. This is when my mother starting beating me. When she would try to force feed me food “for my own good” and I wouldn’t eat. She thought by attacking me with a broom and hitting me, I will stop rebelling. She never understood how much I suffered from the lack of understanding, genuine contact and just human respect and what she did was unacceptable or damaged me further. I felt very humiliated and damaged. All I wanted was to escape. And I remember a few times I even ran away from home….

    So what I am trying to say, you are right, things were not AT ALL rose-tinted, pretty and loving about my parents as I was presenting it to myself and to everyone else. I was a victim of my parents and their culture and mentality related expectations.

    When I did leave my family home at 17 and started living alone, suddenly I was all free, and this seemed like what i always wanted. but i still couldn’t be happy. I was very depressed and sad and I hated myself. I started having serious acne problems. I am pretty sure it was my body showing my self-hatred on my skin. These problems only stopped after I became more or less happy being in a new country and having a new life. but it took 6 years minimum to adapt.

    The lack of genuine communication and understanding is also something which I have been seeking my whole life. I am drawn to people who are misunderstood, mistreated and sad, be it artists, poets or just people I meet. I share their pain. And I no longer want to lie to myself that I had a happy childhood.

    My teenage years including my first sexual experiences were an absolute disaster as well. The reason being nobody ever talked to me to explain the actual changes my body is going through, nobody explained to me anything and it really frustrated me. I had to obey my “culture and mentality” and be a good girl. i wasn’t even allowed to be seen with any boy at 17, let alone date any. It was absolutely insane, but my parents expected me to be a virgin when i get married. How is this ok? I always knew it was not ok, but I never looked into all the pain and conflict it caused in my psyche and body. Even though, luckily after many years, probably 10 years or so, I was able to break away from this “mentality”, and asserted my own feeling about the subject to my parents,  I still have certain feelings of “shame and guilt” feelings that were drilled into me to everything relating to sex.

    I spent a long time adjusting myself in all of my relationships when I was misunderstood out of the fear of abandonment to the point where I no longer knew what it was that I actually wanted. Luckily this has changed. In my current relationship, I have a space to talk about my feelings and thoughts. Even though when I fell in love with the man I am with, I also liked the fact that my mother would approve of him, but I do not love him because of this reason now.

    It is also interesting about my OCD, intrusive imagine I had before was violent in nature, and it was usually always the same image. Whoever was sitting very close to me, this image would pop in my head that there was a knife in their throat and they were bleeding. it bothered me very much. But now this image changed. Now I see myself being attacked and feel the actual fear. Either someone pushing me, or strangling me or hitting or killing me.  This is strange, but I feel like these intrusive image change signifies some kind of improvement and means i am approaching my fears closer.

    I know these images are just symbols that mean something and I am no longer ashamed of them. I also know for a fact it is related to my childhood fears. Fear is something I am looking into now very deeply. It will probably be a long journey…I realised I have been running away from looking into my fears for a long time. Fear is like sorrow or pain. I am much more familiar with sorrow and pain than fear as I have actually been in life situations where there was no escape and I had to live with physical as well as mental pain. Then I saw it wasn’t as bad as I thought…and it changed me. But fear…i was never ready to face it. Now I am. And I think maybe when I get to the bottom of it, my OCDs might improve too. Unfortunately, at the moment i have to do all work by myself, as the therapy I signed up for is free of charge and i am still on their waitlist. If my therapist can’t help me, I am not too bothered. I know it is extremely difficult to find a reliable and open minded therapist these days who are not the victims to conventional morality and brainwashing themselves.

     

    #376524
    Nar
    Participant

    Dear TeaK,

    I hope you have been ok? And thank you for your honest answers and insights regarding your current relationship with your mother.

    I understand the need why you had to put this physical distance between yourself and your mother, and I think if the relationship (with anyone) is so toxic that it makes you feel this bad, it is absolutely necessary to put this distance. Of-course it is much more difficult when it is with a parent.

    On anger, i think it is a very genuine emotion and there is so much to learn from anger. It is much better to feel angry than to “forgive and let go”. Its frustrating when people preach letting go as if it is something that can just happen so easily or forced. About forgiveness, i understood, there is no need to forgive if the person(be it a mother or a friend) is not worth it. It is thanks to Alice Miller I understood this whole concept of forgiveness is just usually a false pretense. She talks very strongly about how important it is not to “forgive” and the damaging effects these forgiveness can bring about in the body or mind.

    I personally think forgiveness or letting go is something that if it happens, it happens naturally. But no feeling or emotion should be forced upon oneself in the name of morality or culture. Anger, on the other hand, is a beautiful and genuine emotion. I learnt a lot from that thing that I call anger. It is not harmful or dangerous at all. and i don’t think we should stop it if we feel it.

    #376531
    TeaK
    Participant

    Dear Nar,

    it’s very good to read from you again! You sound like you’ve been realizing so many things about your childhood, including the fact that you did experience abuse, even though you initially thought it was no big deal. It’s great you’re becoming aware of the ways you’ve been abused and controlled – it will make it easier for you to heal.

    I too believe that change in your intrusive image could be a good sign – a sign that something has shifted in your subconscious, and from the way you speak about yourself, it’s a shift in the right direction. You’re now more aware of the fact that you were violated, that some of your mother’s behavior wasn’t loving, and probably this causes you to have images of being attacked and your life being threatened. But with therapy and further processing, there’s a high chance that this will shift again, once you realize you aren’t helpless anymore and can defend yourself. Just keep working on yourself, both on your own and in therapy.

    It’s great you have support of your boyfriend as well, and that he’s someone who understands you and doesn’t judge you. That’s really important.

    As for forgiveness, it’s said that by forgiving, we actually liberate ourselves, because we don’t keep blaming someone else for our misery. However, this doesn’t mean we’ll tolerate their abuse in the future. We put boundaries in place and protect ourselves, if we feel they might hurt us again.

    I agree that anger can be a very useful emotion because it tells us when our integrity and well-being is violated. It’s a sign we need to protect ourselves, defend our interests, stand up for ourselves. It’s only destructive if we feel helpless to stand up for ourselves, and we keep blaming the other person, feeling trapped. Then it can happen that we overreact and say unwanted things, and even do things we wouldn’t like, in the heat of an argument. So my view is that anger can be destructive if we feel as a victim, if we feel trapped, and lash out in an unbalanced way. But otherwise, in can be healthy and useful.

    #376547
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nar:

    You are welcome. I am glad that you attended to your language exams and hope you did well. Your recent posts are amazing: they make a high quality essay that shines a realistic, very intelligent, educated and insightful light on (1) growing up with a lack “of understanding, genuine contact and just human respect”, (2) having rose-tinted illusions and delusions when looking back at one’s childhood, (3) feeling trapped as a child (and later, as an adult) and reacting rebelliously, (4) anger, (5) forgiveness and culture, (6) fear, (7) OCD, (8) sex, shame and guilt, and more.

    I went back to your post on February 5 and found something interesting that I didn’t quite detect earlier on the topic of love. You wrote then about your mother: “she loves her children more than ANYTHING and ANYONE in the world”- notice how you kind-of screamed (using capital letters) that she loves her children so much, as if trying to hush a defiant voice in your mind that said: she did not love me!

    You continued on that day: “Now back to the girl and her mother trauma.. she never felt loved by her mother. So she goes around.. and says everything is love“- similar to you saying that your mother loves you more than anything and anyone.

    Is it true that she never felt loved by her mother? I doubt it very much: as a baby and a young child, she wouldn’t have survived without some love. For a baby and a young child, all it takes to feel loved by the mother is to be held . If her mother held her once, then she felt loved.

    You too felt loved when you were held as a baby, and later on, every time she smiled at you or attended to you positively.. until you didn’t feel loved anymore, until her moments of feeling and expressing love for you failed to reach you as love. Am I correct, or am I projecting my experience:

    When my mother hit me with her hands, slapping me across the face, angrily and loudly calling me names and verbally humiliating me, her touch was not gentle and  comforting, it hurt and it was meant to hurt. Her voice was not gentle and comforting- it hurt and it was meant to hurt.

    After that experience (a repeated experience), when she held my hand gently sometime later- I cringed/ recoiled, felt intensely uncomfortable and wanted to crawl out of my skin, to escape her and her touch. Her soft touch no longer reached me as soft, but as rough and punishing.

    When she said kind words to me in a soft voice, her voice and her words no longer reached me as soft and kind, but as angry, loud and punishing.

    What I described right above, is the reason why I ended all contact with my mother eight years ago- I was not able to stop feeling that automatic, instinctive anger when I was around her, when she was part of my life. I suffered the massive, cultural pressure to forgive-and-let-go, to love her no matter what because she did her best, etc., but I eventually had to respect .. me/ the child within me, the child who cringed and felt so very uncomfortable, suffering in the mother’s company, so I accommodate the child-within and  removed the person in her life that made her suffer.

    anita

    #376902
    Nar
    Participant

    Hello Anita,

    Yes, thank you, I did quite well. I moved to Hungary now and learning Hungarian, very interesting and intuitive language. I enjoy it 🙂

    You were really right about drawing a comparison between the girl I met and myself. What you said that the reason why I was drawn to her was because through her much worse and extreme disturbances I felt comfortable to look into my own. See, she was beaten since she was a little kid until her teens, and I was for maybe 6-7 times when I was 13 or 14. It is definitely true the times my mother hit me, that was no loving and the fact that I was trying to brush it off as something insignificant only showed my own insecurities about accepting this fact that I wasn’t always loved. There can never be love, where there is abuse. It doesn’t matter how I tried to lie to myself and for whatever reasons to justify my parents behaviour.

    I cannot judge whether the girl I tried to befriend was loved by her mother or not, but only recently I understood what her biggest illusion is in life. I think she has many illusions and I was able to look into them because she shared so much about herself and her life with me  ( and i am saying it in the most non-judgemental way, only truly enlightened people have no illusions). Her biggest illusion is what she is absolutely unconscious of, the person who she really idealises and loves and imprinted her childhood self on- her father- didn’t always love her either. She knew as a kid her mother abused her so much, so she gave all her love to her father who she still deeply admires but this man watched her being beaten as a kid and did nothing about it. How can that be called being a loving father? …She is conscious of her hatred towards her mother and still can’t break away from her, but she is absolutely unconscious of her hatred towards her father…but I can’t just dispel this illusion for her. Firstly, because I guess i am not compassionate enough and don’t want to be involved with her any more. She has a very negative impact on me, secondly, i don’t think she would ever listen to what I have to say. So i haven’t talked to her since January and have no intention of ever talking to her…

    Thank you for sharing your experience with your mother and so kind of you to warn me about projecting it onto me.

    Unfortunately, I can’t relate as I think I was only held, kissed or touched kindly only as a toddler and then a kid. I don’t remember any physical affection being shown to me ever…so i don’t know when it stopped… I can see from my childhood pictures my mother definitely kissed and held me as a toddler. but it must have stopped after the age of 5 or 6 or maybe earlier as I cant remember any of it.

    I am sorry there was no other way other than cutting contact with your mother altogether. If this was necessary for you to heal , then it had to happen. I wonder if you talked to her about how you feel or did you try to make her see how much she hurt you? change your relationship ? did she ever apologise and act on making you feel good? Did she ever offer to change?

    I understand now there are 3 parents in my head or life. My childhood parents who are completely different to my current actual parents now, and also my internalised (illusionary) parents. My goal is to work through the past by relying on facts only, what happened in the past is a fact. And I need to be able to differentiate a fact from my illusions. Maybe then I can close the gap between my illusionary parents, actual childhood parents and my actual parents now. Also I need to see if my actual parents now are able to accept that they did hurt me and my sister and were not always supporting and loving and apologise for it, so both of us can heal.

    I have also been suffering with nightmares often and in my nightmares I often try to wake up and I shout. I call for my mother when I shout and try to wake up. I think there is definitely some infant fear left in me towards my parents but some of my dreams also suggest it was possible I was scared for my mother and wanted to protect her as well as was fearful of her. I am still quite confused about this and trying to work out my childhood fears.

    #376903
    Nar
    Participant

    Dear TeaK,

    Thank you for your reply. I read recently 90% of the world’s population were beaten as kids.  I don’t know why it is so difficult to accept that we were abused as children, why instead of facing to what happened, we just accept it as love and keep reliving or reenacting what happened in the past, making others (next generations, our partners) or our health pay the price. Most likely, both.

    I guess part of it is because we still want to cling to that love that all children really need to survive. We can’t let go of the illusion that we were not always loved or that we were not loved at all in extreme cases…

    The reason why I knew the way I was treated wasn’t respectful or “right” is because I know it deep down, my whole being, every cell in my body knows what was wrong. And I promised to myself i would never hit my own children no matter what they do.

    But mistreatments and abuse are way beyond and much more complicated than just physical harm caused to children. Silent treatments, emotional blackmail, power control, withdrawals, judgements, demands.. Why are children brought up this way? Why do we damage the most innocent beings in such cruel ways and they just turn a blind eye to everything and want to be loved by anyone…It is all very sad but also incredibly awakening for me as I am not a parent yet luckily and I absolutely understand the full moral responsibility of being one now. I know I must work out through my own traumas and issues, so I pass none of that onto my children. So I never live in the past. So I can respond to all challenges in life with my present needs and emotions, and not past reactions. so I don’t ever hurt another human being, because I have unresolved issues from my childhood/past/ early life conditioning and traumas.

    I genuinely want to break free from my past. The work on myself is constant and part of me wishes there was a way to end all the problems in one go.

    All emotions whether it is anger or forgiving a person (if it comes from a place of compassion and not self-illusion) have a place in our psyche and relationships. I guess the trick is to develop that emotional competence and foster it in our children.

    #376907
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Nar:

    You are welcome. I hope you keep enjoying Hungary!

    You shared about your former friend that her father “watched her being beaten as a kid and did nothing about it”, and yet, she “gave all her love to her father who she still deeply admires”- that’s because she needed to be loved by someone, so she made-believe that she was. Her father was there not hitting her, so he was the one.

    You asked a few questions regarding my cutting contact with my mother: “did you try to make her see how much she hurt you?”- she already saw how much she hurt me too many times to count, “did you try to.. change your relationship?”- too many times to count, failed for decades, and then I cut contact. “Did she ever apologize”?- there was a vague mention of something one time that may have been meant as a kind-of an apology, “offer to change?”- no.

    Back to you: “I need to see if my actual parents now are able to accept that they did hurt me and my sister.. and apologise for it, so both of us can heal”- apologies have time limits. If a parent hits a child and apologizes soon after, there may be healing power to that apology, but not years later. Parents have a lot of power over their children when the children are young, not when the children are adults. In other words, a parent has the power to make a child sick, but the same parent does not have the power to heal the adult-child.

    When a parent apologises to the adult child- if the apology is sincere- it may be a beginning of a sincere relationship with that parent, but the apology does not undo damage done in childhood, it does not heal.

    “in my nightmares I often try to wake up and I shout. I call for my mother when I shout and try to wake up… some of my dreams also suggest.. I was scared for my mother and wanted to protect her as well as was fearful of her”-

    – for a young child, when the mother appears to be in danger, the child instinctively feels that she/ he is in danger, same as a baby deer being in a safe spot, watching her mother being attacked by a lion. The baby deer does not think: this is terrible for my mother, but I am safe. The baby deer is scared: who will feed me? Who will take care of me? Without my mother, I will die!

    “I am still quite confused about this and trying to work out my childhood fears”- you are welcome to share more about it, if and whenever you want to, it may help.

    anita

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