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Estrangement

Healing from an unhappy childhood

(20 Posts)
Starblaze Fri 01-May-20 19:16:22

I just read this and found it amazing. I went through most of my life with no measuring stick. How would I know if I was healing without a normal childhood version of myself to compare with?

There are so many articles out there that tell you what is wrong with you but not so many that show you the paths to take to heal.

I really enjoyed this and maybe I can be a little kinder to myself.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201908/12-signs-healing-toxic-childhood

Starblaze Fri 01-May-20 19:26:08

If the link doesn't work try this one

www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/tech-support/201908/12-signs-healing-toxic-childhood

HolyHannah Fri 01-May-20 20:09:21

An excellent read and very true. I had to work a lot on many of the steps.

notanan2 Fri 01-May-20 20:17:04

God Im failing miserably according to that list 😔

HolyHannah Fri 01-May-20 20:28:01

notana2 -- There is always room for improvement. I failed at first on may of those steps. Now I am doing well with many of them. Change is rarely easy but the result of making the changes are so worth it.

Madgran77 Fri 01-May-20 20:38:37

That is a very interesting article

rosecarmel Fri 01-May-20 21:04:20

#5

Number five on the list, the way I view it, is a much broader issue- Not being someone's cup of tea could be viewed as a seed that can grow into neglect, a sense of separateness, leading to the belief that people aren't equal- Not equal on the family front, not equal in society-

I've always thought that there has to be a better way to navigate human relations than the "better or less" practice-

During these extremely difficult times we are seeing inequalities in the raw- Rejection, slights, neglect and even violence-

It's an age old problem that's yet to be solved- Its a game that can only be played in two ways- You can either go all Old Testament eye for eye or New Testament and turn the other cheek-

The only caveat is not being clear about which to choose-

Starblaze Fri 01-May-20 21:31:32

I don't think anyone who doesn't hav all of this or some of it has failed at anything. I think it's more a way to see changes in yourself you might not have noticed.

I like people in general, not ones like my mum lol but that's a healthy defence mechanism that keeps me safe, but most people have likeable, lovable qualities

HolyHannah Fri 01-May-20 21:55:07

For me #5 is more about shedding the negative perceptions. My Golden sib thinks and always did, that I am 'stupid'. So everything I say is 'stupid' and wrong in her opinion/by her perception, even if I am correct. I cannot change her negative perception regardless of what I do so her assertions and treating me like I was 'stupid' was on her and it didn't/couldn't hurt me anymore and gave me another reason for No Contact.

Starblaze Fri 01-May-20 22:39:13

My brother would deliberately wind me up till I was angry, just so he could point out what a horrible angry person I was. I remember once he cancelled plans with me for the 3rd time an hour after he was supposed to come. I swore, not at him but upset and I was terrible and horrible and the "wrong" one. So glad I don't have to deal with that any more.

Starblaze Fri 01-May-20 22:42:07

Why on earth is it so hard for some people to say sorry? I have the opposite problem lol but, it defused everything... "I'm so sorry to let you down, I know you were looking forward to today" versus "I'm not coming, I need to do xyz which is important to me"

HolyHannah Fri 01-May-20 23:04:07

You don't say "sorry" to a 'lesser'... "Sorry" to a 'lesser' means a 'lesser' has equal feelings and the golden rule is only the feelings of 'betters' matter. So why say, "Sorry." and risk not continuing to be a 'better'? It's one of the gross things abusers do.

Starblaze Fri 01-May-20 23:09:03

He did say sorry once, to trick me into speaking to him. He cut me off the next day.

Thing I know logically versus things I feel emotionally. The two never work.

Its always about power and control, I know that but I can't connect to it on any level

rosecarmel Fri 01-May-20 23:17:12

Some quotes here from Harriet Lerner:

www.goodreads.com/work/quotes/49695293-why-won-t-you-apologize-healing-big-betrayals-and-everyday-hurts

HolyHannah Fri 01-May-20 23:46:25

“The best apologies are short, and don't go on to include explanations that run the risk of undoing them. An apology isn't the only chance you ever get to address the underlying issue. The apology is the chance you get to establish the ground for future communication. This is an important and often overlooked distinction.”

This sorta belongs in the 'Common Themes' section. Abusive EP's really believe one quick "I'm sorry you felt that way." means everything goes back to 'normal'.

No, it's a chance for you the person who needed to apologize to perhaps have the opportunity to prove that they have learned from the experience and won't repeat the hurtful behavior.

Perhaps that's another reason abusers don't/can't be bothered to apologize. They are not "sorry" and they fully intend to 'it' again.

rosecarmel Sat 02-May-20 02:01:37

I agree- An apology can't be used like a wildcard- Don't care if it's a 7 a 2 or Queen- Lay your cards on the table, face up, no Jokers- No poker faces, no bluffing, no getting impatient waiting to get more than forgiven-

HolyHannah Sat 02-May-20 04:47:16

I think a whole thread could be dedicated to apologies and what they are or are not. I often hear EP's say, "I've apologized over and over and sometimes for stuff I didn't do."

And yet find the corresponding EAC who say they've received a sincere apology for anything from their parent(s)... EVER. Cue the crickets... So someone is lying. And of course it has to be the EAC because we need to have 'excuses' to go No Contact.

About the only time the word 'sorry' passed my mom's lips were, "Sorry you feel that way." and "I'm sorry you're so sensitive." or some other invalidating variation.

Let's assume my mom is correct and I had a wonderful childhood and she was a 'good' mother... How did I end up with C-PTSD? And while those that have helped me recover know it was caused from childhood trauma, my mom does not.

So, whether I am correct and my mental illnesses are due to abuse, or my 'mom' is correct and it's all "in my head", THAT is my reality. Now some will say, "Well. You don't play into delusions." -- this is where abusive EP's accuse the kids of 'making stuff up'.

However a professional is going to say, "Maybe it is true and maybe it isn't but if you approach your child as if they are lying/are a liar? They are going to shut down and then shut you out. Whether you were part of the problem then isn't important. There is a problem in the now and they believe you are part of it. If you don't want to engage in a healthy way to solve the issues, then expect your child to take a healthier path. Away from you."

HolyHannah Sat 02-May-20 04:59:33

The shorter version on that is, "If you are not wanting to be part of the 'solution' then you are becoming part of the 'problem' as well."

Before I went No Contact I asked Ma, "Would you like to know what would help me with C-PTSD?" Mom -- "Ummm No. Not really." Me (internally) -- 'Well, alright then. Thanks for that.'

Starblaze Sat 02-May-20 22:20:13

So very frustrating. They damage us and then bemoan we aren't perfect.

rosecarmel Sun 03-May-20 00:48:07

Certain places, in combination with the surroundings, have a healing effect for me- So despite the trauma of childhood, I can look back and remember when those things healed me then in the same way they continue to heal me today-

I hadn't made that connection before- I thought I was experiencing dejavu- But what was happening was I was remembering feeling still, a peace within, perhaps even normal, in stark contrast to the trauma-

A feeling that everything was ok-

Almost primal-

I had two quirky aunts that were sisters- On rare occasions I spent time with them- One lived in the woods, the other went where the wind blew, both were naturalists- I had always wished, as I did with every member of my family, that they took more time nurturing me-

I then had a niece- Who I paid attention to and nurtured- And now as an adult am remembered as a healing touchstone from her traumatic childhood-