View Full Version : Whew Little Drained


willow129
08-24-15, 06:08 PM
I don't know if this is really a good place to put this thread, just a little tired and can't decide.

So, tonight I actually told my boyfriend everything I could think of to tell him about when I was a kid and the er abuse/neglect by my parents. Only took me 5 years.
He knew my mom is a hoarder and that my parents are strange, from me telling him and his own observation, and also that my siblings have a terrible relationship with them but he didn't really understand why. I think part of me was wondering if he would ask more specifically but I also know that he has no reason to imagine that it was as bad as it was, it is so utterly not what his childhood was like.

I *think* I view this as a good thing, me telling him. And being able to tell him. At the very least, it's definitely different from even just a couple of days ago. Because I really have kept this VERY private for a lot of my adult life. When I started to get into it with my last therapist it made me shake and if it came up in any other situation, like with my current therapist, it just made(makes?) me feel so utterly miserable I would get scared and try to forget about it as soon as possible.

But I just got back from a visit with my grandparents and siblings, which was great and stressful like it always is. My sister is not shy about talking about our childhood, so it all came up and was discussed, with me trying to hide my usual anxious reaction. Also I am very stressed by how judgmental my grandparents can be about other things in my life, so while I love them and want to see them, visits can be great and extremely stressful at the same time.
Last night though my grandpa basically asked me if I have the same bone to pick with my parents as my sister does. Like did I experience the same things that she talks about. Which is crazy. Because he saw me, knew me as a kid, saw our house. I just don't talk about it like she does. But it was probably therapeutic that he asked that because it did make my whole consciousness go "YES. THESE THINGS HAPPENED. DO NOT TRY TO PRETEND THEY DIDN'T." Which, if I was saying that to grandpa, then I had to say it to myself too.

But, I think a lot of the discomfort talking about my childhood (I realized) is I don't want it to define who I am. I know when I was in high school/college, I spent a lot of time thinking, ****, this sucks that my parents weren't great, imagine all the things I could be doing now. But then I would say, it really doesn't matter all the things I could be doing, I can't change anything about my childhood, and I am NOT going to use that as an excuse to not achieve the things I want to achieve.
So, I don't want to be thinking about it, obsessing about it. I don't want to be bringing it up and talking about it all the time. I am this way with having ADHD, which I *think* for the most part is helpful, jury's out on whether or not that's true, but I *don't* want to be like that with stuff from my childhood.

Can I put it AWAY in my life while also being able to accept that it happened without fear?

aeon
08-24-15, 08:14 PM
Can I put it AWAY in my life while also being able to accept that it happened without fear?

Speaking only from my own experience, I will say that I was able to accept what happened in my childhood, and integrate it into my own life narrative such that those events no longer cast shadows upon my present moment.

That said, it isn’t like those events are hidden away—they can still be a focus of my awareness—but they are no longer a source of chaotic energy or source of emotional reaction.

I will offer that only you can know your truth, and others’ perspectives, judgements, and/or opinions are of no consequence, even if those others are people you love and respect. Your experience is yours. You lived it.

One thing to consider is that some people who have trauma histories from their childhood have altered response to stress stimuli such that they experience flight or fight or freeze at a lower threshold than would otherwise be expected. This is true of me.

That said, it doesn’t mean you have to have such a response when you think about your experiences as a child. You can reach a place where you can recall those memories, and they will be just that—memories.

I am happy for you that you told your boyfriend. That’s a very significant thing in terms of your healing and integration of things. My sense is that you are very much on the right path.

And I will add, those things happened. And you were there. But you are not those things. Not those things or any other. You are simply you and that’s more than enough.


I wish you well,
Ian