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Author Topic: Was I abused as a child  (Read 207 times)
dindin
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« on: September 15, 2020, 02:23:02 AM »

Elsewhere in the forum I wrote about my struggles with an ex BPD partner and my breakup. Through therapy and some heavy introspection I came to realise my own narcissistic tendencies and crippling codependency, that blew out of their normal disfunction into really bad stuff during a romantic r/s with a cluster B personality type.

And as the focus shifts from my partner, I am left with a lot of work concerning my childhood. For the last decade almost I haven't had a single memory or emotion concerning my formative years. And now it came pouring out.

Now I know absolutely clearly that my dad had major narcissistic traits and I'd bet my money on him being somehwere diagnosible on the B cluster spectrum. I need some support and advice, because I cannot really discuss it with my siblings, as they downplay what happened to such an extent that it's hard for me.

Examples of what I experienced:
- Dad would laugh at our interests, pretty much mocked them with other adults. But only the ones who were not his own.
- Corporal punishment
- Dad would complain how stupid we are whenever we liked something popular. Like a factoid magazine, popular music, etc. He'd say: "if you want to be idiots, than good look with that"
- Often they'd call us useless and helpless.
- They'd often complained how much they regret spending time to teach us skills, because we were less talented than our sister.
- A lot of anger. For example, with a hair trigger to his violence, if we were talking a bit louder at night, instead of telling us to be quiet, he'd march right in like an ogre and destroy our stuff in a fit of rage.
- Both mom and dad would invalidate our capabilities. Whatever I did, even as an adult, was done "the wrong way." Even stuff that doesn't have to do with them.
- Mom often would tell us that the "core" of our problems was because we were "spiritually corrupt".
- Mom would switch emotions between depression and helicopter parenting, in a span of a day or so.
- Mom was often on antidepressants, and I remember her being extremely zoned out or just emotionally not there, which was very lonely. And if she was available, she was concerned more about helping her own family of alcoholics and disadvantaged people. She felt very responsible for the suffering of her mom, who would be a completely helpless, unintelligent lady at the mercy of her abusive and alcoholic husband and son.
- For many years due to financial problems we lived with my mother's family. Which as I wrote consisted of an alcoholic uncle, prone-to-anger ex-alcoholic grandpa, and a helpless grandma that needed to be protected. We were in the middle of a lot of drama.
- Both my parents would convince me that the world is completely corrupt and that I was an idiot for trusting anyone. Every business endavour is crooked, every person is going to break your trust. Every pursit "is vanity". And if you argued anything other, you'd be left to feel an idiot.
- Criticism of anyone in a highly disfunctional family (a lot of alcoholics among my uncles) was unallowed. Whenever I told that us socializing with a pathological narcissistic uncle drunk beyond human capabilities made me uncomfortable and that he is a bad person was met with: "but look at yourself, you are a horrible person because why are you so angry about it"?

This list could be a lot longer, and I don't know if it is wise trying to remember all this stuff. Just looking for some support, advice, and if anyone can relate.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 02:30:55 AM by dindin » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 02:32:53 AM »

Man, I’ve been going at you for a bit to get you on this board. Just saying welcome. Be patient. Better minds than mine will be along. I’m glad you showed up. I’ll talk with you if you want. I just figured that I was on your ass on the other board and I’m not gonna be all over you on this one. Your call.
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dindin
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« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 02:36:50 AM »

Man, I’ve been going at you for a bit to get you on this board. Just saying welcome. Be patient. Better minds than mine will be along. I’m glad you showed up. I’ll talk with you if you want. I just figured that I was on your ass on the other board and I’m not gonna be all over you on this one. Your call.

Haha, thanks. Sure come and give your opinion here, I'll pause my writing about my ex BPD partner on that topic, as I think it's better to focus on myself, since I gained enough understanding of BPD to have a sense of "some" closure. So please do, and thanks for your invitation here Smiling (click to insert in post)
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WTL
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« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 02:51:45 AM »

If you feel like you were abused as a child/adolescent, you most likely were. What was the corporal punishment like? I understand the verbal and emotional stuff. How badly were you beaten? He would break your things in a fit of rage? I read it all. I don’t know what to say about it other than I’m sorry man. It’s really good that you’re talking about it and working on it. The real trouble comes to people that stuff experiences like this. You’re not doing that. How did it feel when your dad broke your’s and your siblings things? Maybe that’s a stupid question, but maybe the answer might take a little pressure off of your shoulders.
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dindin
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« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 03:10:24 AM »

I was never "beaten" like in punched or shoved. But especially when I was younger there was the threat of the belt - like being struck with a leather belt on your bottom, and if you didnt sit still you were made feel responsible for the belt to end up hitting other parts of the body. Up until now I rationalized it saying it was back in the days. But it wasn't as much about the physical pain of it, but the feeling of utter helplessness. It was pretty scary. Oh, now that I'm writing it, I remember once I was beaten with a cable by my grandpa, with whom we lived when my parents weren't home, who thought I was misbehaving. I found that especially confusing, because it made me realise that other adults than my dad can use force against me. I remember crying: "You cannot hit me, you're not my dad" I felt extremely lost after that, mistrusting adults on the street.

When my dad destroyed our stuff it was extremely scary. I remember I wanted to cry, but couldn't for the fear that this could upset him again. I remember from then on I tried to be as quiet and not let my presence be known in the house, because why risk it again
« Last Edit: September 15, 2020, 03:18:09 AM by dindin » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2020, 03:53:37 PM »

I’ve got a golf ball in my throat after reading that. Thanks for sharing that. Stuff like that takes courage. I relate to having to try to remain still. My mom used a wooden paddle. She’d strip me down to my bare ass and hold my ankles with one hand. Funny as it is, that memory gave me an age range. She would hit my bare ass in a rage. Swinging and screaming. I’d put my hands in the way and she would bloody my knuckles. These people are  Cursing - won't cause site restrictions at Starbucks (click to insert in post)’d in the head.

You were right to be confused. Down the line, as an adult, we accept behaviors that mess with us.

It was not okay for your dad to do that. The most important part is that you were so scared that you had to restrain your emotions. Dad’s should be able to field emotions from their Sons. Not cause them in that way. Know what I mean?
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dindin
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« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2020, 05:07:58 AM »

It was not okay for your dad to do that. The most important part is that you were so scared that you had to restrain your emotions. Dad’s should be able to field emotions from their Sons. Not cause them in that way. Know what I mean?

Thanks for your response. I know what you mean. I remember years ago I had the first emotional flashback that made me realize that something was amiss in my childhood. I remember watching some talent show where someone's dad came up after the show and said: "I'm proud of you"

When I saw that I felt uncontrollable sadness and jealousy: I have never heard that in my life.

I really don't know what to do with all this information. I bottled it up for so long, and it feels good to give myself some sympathy for what I was through. But I still feel like I cannot be angry or even forgiving if I am just as bad as they were, I mean in relationships I played the same tricks and if I had children... I'd be exactly the same. I know that - invalidating, selfish, threathened, angry... So I am just as **** up as they were. Listing all this stuff just makes me feel worse, because I feel like I'm listing all the sins I've ever had.

I mean I can give myself some credit for maybe trying to look outside. But at the end of the day I did the same damage they did. And if abuse or narcissistic injury runs in families, and I was doomed to repeat it, I am no better or worse than all the **** in my life, because they could be using the same excuse (I know my dad's parents were ever worse than he was to me). So how can I set myself free and find forgiveness for myself, and for others?
« Last Edit: September 16, 2020, 05:16:30 AM by dindin » Logged
dindin
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« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2020, 07:16:21 AM »

I also oscilate between this thinking that I showed above and a more rational approach: that I might have some fleas from narcissistic abuse but I am not inherently bad. But it's hard to come to terms with the destruction that I caused thanks to that programming...

Is it something that victims of abuse struggle with? Identyfing with the abuse itself?
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WTL
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2020, 05:07:57 PM »

You know what?  :cursing:this. I had my ass handed to me constantly. They kicked the PLEASE READ out of me. It was crazy. Maybe we can start a conversation now.
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2020, 05:16:07 PM »

Yes. The fleas are a struggle. How couldn’t they be? We learn everything from our parents.
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« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2020, 11:04:22 PM »

I tell S5 that I’m proud of him at every opportunity. Like you, I can’t remember hearing it with any validity. When S5 was born I made a vow that he would not go through what I did. It’s been quite the learning process, but I wouldn’t trade it. If my journey brought me to that little boy, so be it. He’s good and at the same time I’ve seen the good in myself. You know, I remember telling my Sis that S5’s mom and I were having a baby. She told me that being a dad will be the best thing that I ever do. I didn’t really understand what she was saying then. I do now. As soon as the courts require S5’s mom to allow me access to our Son, I can get on with being a dad again. Until then I’ll continue to send him his weekly care package and try to remain sane. Lol

I don’t know you, but I’m proud of you for showing up here and letting your story be heard. That takes a lot of courage. I’m proud of you for pushing against the painful stuff that could’ve easily taken you down a very bad path. You’re doing well and you should recognize that. Everything is going to be alright because you’re taking the steps to ensure that. Good job.
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« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2020, 12:35:59 AM »

i think at a minimum, its fair to say you had a childhood (and adulthood) that involved a lot of invalidation, a dad with a hair trigger, and a difficult mother.

i had a lot of that too. my dad didnt have bpd, but he was definitely prone to disproportionate anger, and partly as a result, anger, whether from others, or in myself, makes me anxious to this day.

Excerpt
When I saw that I felt uncontrollable sadness and jealousy: I have never heard that in my life.

im proud of you that you have the guts and conviction to face these things, to ask these questions, about others, and about yourself. i know from experience how difficult it can be; it can be difficult even if youre willing!

Excerpt
I really don't know what to do with all this information. I bottled it up for so long, and it feels good to give myself some sympathy for what I was through. But I still feel like I cannot be angry or even forgiving if I am just as bad as they were, I mean in relationships I played the same tricks and if I had children... I'd be exactly the same. I know that - invalidating, selfish, threathened, angry... So I am just as **** up as they were. Listing all this stuff just makes me feel worse, because I feel like I'm listing all the sins I've ever had.

I mean I can give myself some credit for maybe trying to look outside. But at the end of the day I did the same damage they did. And if abuse or narcissistic injury runs in families, and I was doomed to repeat it, I am no better or worse than all the **** in my life, because they could be using the same excuse (I know my dad's parents were ever worse than he was to me). So how can I set myself free and find forgiveness for myself, and for others?

it probably also makes you feel worse because you may feel like you are betraying your parents in talking about these things. thats one of the biggest obstacles. our parents were our earliest role models, our sense of normalcy, our authority.

we all, at a certain age (ideally at least) realize our parents were not perfect, and we question that/those model(s). its frightening, and even more so if you had overbearing parents. but it isnt just that it feels like betrayal toward them. its a little bit like learning that the sky is actually green, or learning how to swim. its an enormous part of your very identity.

questioning it, challenging it, just like questioning and challenging any other part of our belief systems, is a necessary part of becoming our true selves, independent of our parents, and individuating.

i dont mean to minimize your unique experience when i say we all have baggage that we have to shed in order to better relate, and get along with others. we all have blinders. we all are prone to manipulating others to meet our needs. virtually everything youre reading about, and asking about, is something that we all, as human beings struggle with, some less, some more.

how can you set yourself free? keep doing the work. to be able to examine oneself in a critical light is a gift that not everyone has. work, perhaps, to do it in a way that is less judgmental, and more objective. you are, to an extent, pathologizing some relatively normal things about yourself. when i was in high school, i was the king of over pursuing, of wearing my heart on my sleeve, and it turned off pretty much every healthy connection i had a shot at. all of that is fully within my control, not something im cursed with. i am, or can be, kind of a needy guy, highly sensitive, especially to rejection, and that will always be true, but how i cope with it is entirely changeable. how we cope is learned, and can be unlearned, its not the same as who we are.
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« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2020, 12:59:15 AM »

or, you bring up a good point. Fathers. The anger that you felt from him caused negative feelings. It’s very hard to be a boy without a real dad in the mix. There are solid stats on that.

In your opinion, was your dad overly angry because of your mom, or did he have underlying stuff?

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dindin
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2020, 02:28:58 AM »

or, you bring up a good point. Fathers. The anger that you felt from him caused negative feelings. It’s very hard to be a boy without a real dad in the mix. There are solid stats on that.

In your opinion, was your dad overly angry because of your mom, or did he have underlying stuff?

He was so angry he once threathened murdering someone with an axe, a family member, because they had a major disagreement. And that wasn't so long ago, these were all adults!

I think I might know why he was so angry.

At least from what I know his parents were even worse than him. My grandma, whom I remember very well, was extremely sefl-centered and critical, she questioned every choice my dad made, even the choice of his wife, she called my mom garbage due to class differences. And his dad, my grandpa, was even more brutish and invalidating than him.

once removed: Thank you so much for your post. The idea of guilt about betrayal is very interesting. Basically I felt everything I did outside of home, even as an adult, was filled with guilt. My T says I internalized so much of the critical voice that I try to "kill" everyday responses and normal human qualities for which I was shamed as a kid and in romantic r/s. But how can you overcome it?

Thanks a lot for your support.
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« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2020, 08:38:12 AM »

Hi dindin

I also learned a lot when exploring this and going back another generation for insight.

To answer directly, my view is that you clearly went through abuse.
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« Reply #15 on: September 21, 2020, 05:45:19 PM »

dindin, do you think that your curiosities have manifested themselves into answers for you? Venting about as much of it that you want to helps. Do want to analyze it a little more, or get some pressure off your shoulders. Aka get pissed off about it and vent? Either way, we have your back.
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« Reply #16 on: September 21, 2020, 06:42:31 PM »

Hi dindin,

I think you are making some important discoveries here regarding your background and family dynamics/history. I would agree with Cromwell and tell you directly that yes, I think you did suffer abuse as a child.

One thing that can help you determine this is the Adverse Childhood Experience assessment.

Adverse Childhood Experience Test

Not everyone who scores points on this test goes on to develop Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but many do, and regardless, anyone who went through even one of these scenarios as a child will be affected in some way as an adult, particularly in relationships.

Here is another link to a guide we use here on the PSI board. It's our Survivor to Thriver guide and it may give you a little clarity about what stage you are currently in and how you are feeling about it:

Survivor to Thriver Guide
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