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Upset & Unable to sleep
April 20, 2007
1:22 am
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Mr. Anonymous
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Those of u who have seen me post here before, have heard me mention that I was abused. However, for many years I have never confronted lot of the painful realities. anyway, today I was sitting talking to my father. I am 37 and he is now in his 70's. He always talks about how good we had it growing up. The only problem is that I have always felt that he was mentally unstable. He claims he never abused us. But recently I learned something interesting to me. People who love you CAN abuse u. Most people believe that people who love u would never abuse u.

BUT I have memories of when I was a kid, having my mouth duct taped up because I was demanding that my brother and sister stop picking with me. My father never even asked for my side of the story he just taped up my mouth and I wasn't the one in the wrong. On another occasion, he told me to clean up my notebook. When I explained that I had already done so earlier and went to get it to show him, I was beaten because he said I was talking back. Another incident happened when my brother & sister would lie on me, he didn't listen to what I had to say, automatically I was punished with no discussion. Once, he told me how stupid I was and I was hit for saying I'm not stupid. On another occasion, I was beaten and told how retarded I was because I accidentally picked up the wrong sweater.

On the flip side, if ever I needed money or new clothes he always got them for me, he was always willing to give me the last dollar out of his pocket, he came to all of my school activities, he encouraged me to pursue my dreams and when I got my first career, he purchased me all new clothes. During college when I needed a car & totaled mine in an accident, he purchased me a new one and never asked for anything in return. He simply reminded me that I was his son and that he had no problems making sure I had what I needed.

I'm saying all this to say that I know he loves me, but the times when he behaved abusively, still hurt me. Some nights I sit up and cry as I think about what was done to me. It hurt and still does.

My father is ill now and has a serious illness. I went to visit him and took care of him today at the house. As we talked, I wondered how someone who loves me like my father says he does could hurt me like I was when I was younger.

What do u gather from this? I am debating going into counseling although I feel I may be overreacting. hell, some kids are abused worse than the things I went through. Some kids are starved, dressed in rags, and severely harmed. Yet, my recollections still hurt me.

Help . . . I'm ending here because my eyes are starting to tear up. How can someone love u treat u like they love u and still be abusive.

Ironically, when I married an abusive wife 7 years ago, he had a fit about how she treated me.

April 20, 2007
2:00 am
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fantas
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Mr. Anonymous, I am so sorry that you are having a difficult night today...but you go a head and cry for that little boy that couldn't take care of himself, that needed nothing but his fathers unconditional love, and cry for all the 37 years you have spent wondering if you were lovable and loving the wrong people because that's what you knew. You go a head and cry until you can hug that little boy and tell him all those loving words you wished to hear and apologize to him that noone took care of him and for all those times when he was afraid of daddy and upset with daddy but still loved him,and for the loneliness and sense of inadeaquacy you may have felt all these years, You go a head and cry and don't stop until you are done.
My mother beat me so bad that I'd go to school with slap marks on my face and I'd looks at my bruises on my body for days before they all disappeared. She broke my ribs then took me to hospital. But I could never be upset with her. It got to a point where I instinctively knew when she would beat me long before she did it. I even reached a point of not caring. It all didn't stop until I was 14. The strange thing is only once did someone stop her or come to my defence. Otherwise, people would act like they didn't see or hear anything. So I in turn began to act like I wasn't bruised or sore. I would be in school or at church acting like I have no bruises all over me. I was well provided for,I have a great education, internationally travelled etc...my mother has since them completely turned herslef around and become a truly compassionate human being. She has never apologized to me though I have asked her why she did it.
One day, after listening to Dr. Phil's, Self Matters, I broke down and cried for about 3 days straight. and much more after that.
I realized that I needed to give myself what noone else gave me. I needed to acknowledge my complete incapacity to know healthy relationships, and I allowed myself to take a break from it all and start to "bring myself up again". I went and still go to meetings, therapists, hypnotherapists, read and listened to books, and sought a relationship with a power greater than myself, and a relationship with myself, wrote a lot. I am not a talker so I dont' do too much talking about it.
My sponsor advised me to stop attemtping to underestand and explain my mother and simply accept the past for what it was. She said that if I did the emotional, spiritual, psychological, work that I needed I would figure out my own answers and it's turning out to be true.
Although I do not know the answer to your question as to why your dad and my mom were loving at one time and cruel at another, I now know that that is where I learned to love and be at home with emotionally and physically, unavailable and abusive people. I felt at home in chaos because that what I learned was love.
Hope you can get a good rest, if not, feel the feelings, you definitely could benefit from a therapist who deals with adult survivors of physical abuse. There may be support groups for adult survivors of physical abuse. Believe me, it does get better. ((((Blessings))))

April 20, 2007
7:48 am
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Mr. Anonymous
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Thanks 4 the support. It's easier this morning. It's just, I was remembering everything that happened when I was a child & it was unfair. And I think about the fact that the 3 siblings whose sides' he always took are the ones who want to put him in a home, don't visit him and don't show him that they love him. Also, he used to threaten me and make me feel bad when he said that I was talking to him at the wrong time (which was totally unpredictable because he had a split personality). All of a sudden, now that he is old and sickly, any time appears to be the right time to talk with him (gee I wonder why).

Wel, I gotta gfo 2 work now, just venting.

April 20, 2007
7:51 am
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revelation
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You are unable to sleep because of these issues.

You are NOT overrreacting! I think you really would benefit from counselling, I'd recommend it!

I've been to a counsellor myself and am now studying for a degree in it. It has changed my life....if you feel you are ready to start living your life free of the pain that you feel when you think of your past, then go for it.

April 20, 2007
12:12 pm
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fantas
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Mr. Anonymous, There are no rules as to when one should deal with this. This must be the last time for you. Keep talking and dealing with it. It will get better. If you have the strength to do it, take care of your father whether or not your siblings want to or not. You are are very special soul and it has nothing to do with your experience. There are people who have been spoiled by their parents from day one and and they put their aging parents in homes and never visit them. I agree with revelation, you could benefit from counselling. Have a good day.

April 20, 2007
12:43 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi Mr.Anonymous,

I found your post very interesting as I have been struggling a bit lately with some of the same questions.

My recovery from codependency has led me to some realizations that have been very painful to face and admit....that my parents are mainly to "blame" for the issues that I have today.

Like you, it has been confusing because feeling loved was never an issue. I never went without anything, I was not physically abused, etc. But looking back and knowing what I know now...I know that both of my parents were "emotionally unavailable" and that I was "abused" in the sense that I never received the emotional support and nurturing that is so important for a young child. I was basically on my own to fill my own emotional, psychological and spiritual needs and obviously I wasn't able to do a very good job of it.

Having said all that.....my answer to your question..."How can someone love u treat u like they love u and still be abusive."...is this.....

I don't think for many of us...."love" was ever the issue. I'm certain that your father loved you....just as my parents loved me. I think the answer is that they did the best they could with what they knew. Chances are he was not trying to be malicious or to intentionally hurt you. Duct taping your mouth shut.....as awful as that is by todays standards, where it would be considered abuse.....in his day he probably just thought he was "teaching you a lesson". Not realizing the effect that it could have on you psychologically.

Parents didn't have the resources and knowledge that we have today. They didn't know how their behavior would affect their children. (I should mention that I am not speaking about cruel, abusive, sadistic types....just your run of the mill, old school, dysfunctional parents)

I say this because I can look back on my upbringing and give a few examples that would have my parents in jail in today's society. But I do not believe for a moment that either of them ever intended to hurt me. And I believe with my whole heart it would tear them apart if they knew that anything they did contributed my unhappiness today.

So the question now becomes.....what do we do now?

In my case....I have chosen to accept my father, as he is. Now that I am older and more educated....I can see as clear as the nose on my face the behaviors that have created some of the issues I have. He is very unaffectionate. He is quite manipulative and uses guilt tactics to get what he wants. He would NEVER admit to making a mistake...he would choose to blame instead. He would much rather ignore a problem and hope it goes away than to actually acknowledge the problem and try to resolve it. BUT, he is also 70+ years old and ain't gonna change....so I have chosen to forgive him (for he knew not what he did) and just accept him for who he is.

The past is the past. My childhood was what it was and I cannot change that. However, I can change the future. I can accept my childhood, accept and forgive my parents, accept that I was scarred and work to heal those scars.

I hope that my ramblings have made some sense and perhaps even helped a bit.

Take care,
Lolli

April 20, 2007
1:10 pm
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atalose
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I think counseling would greatly benefit you resolving your emotions in regards to your childhood.
I also agree with lolli, it doesn't sound like your dad didn't love you, it sounds like he didn't know how to properly discipline. He did what he knew, probably things that were done to him as punishment by his father.
I hope you are able to resolve your feelings about your father while he is still with you. And as far as your sibling go, there lack of interaction with your father shouldn’t effect yours in any way. If they don’t want to visit, that is on them and really should have no barring on you or what you do.

Atalose

~~Hope has a place, but not above reality~~

April 20, 2007
1:13 pm
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fantas
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Sorry Anonymous, I meant the right time for you. Lollipop, I have to say that regardless of whether or not the new better, the damage is real. I find myself unable to accept that explanations yet; that they loved me but just didn't know better. I think my mom just didn't love me because she didn't know how or because something about me rubbed her wrong. Even animals are gentler and kinder to their babies until they decide that one is unfit to live, then they eat them or reject them in which case they eventually die. You are right that we have to forgive, not for them, but so that we can move on and live the life we were meant to live. Thank you sharing your thoughts, very enlightening.

April 20, 2007
1:28 pm
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lollipop3
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Hi Fantas,

To suggest that the damage is not real was not my intent at all. Believe me, I am very well aware of how real the damage is.

My only point was that not every instance of "abuse" is due to a absence of "love". Sometimes it is only parents doing the best they can with what they know.

Some parents are well meaning yet dysfunctional. Others are cruel and sadistic, whose sole intent is to control and dominate. Others still, may be mentally ill or substance abusers.

I think it is for each of us to decide for ourselves how to define our own situations and what we will do with that information.

But regardeless of what the reasons are....yes, the pain is real and should be dealt with in some way.

Take care,
Lolli

April 20, 2007
3:37 pm
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fantas
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Gotcha Lolli, it's a journey we are all on:)

April 20, 2007
8:00 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Thanks 4 your replies. I believe that what Lollipop said certainly holds true. My father simply lacked the ability to provide age appropriate discipline. To tape up a 4th grader's mouth is extremely cruel and I did not deserve that.

While I am on this topic, I must also admit that I was molested when I was a child (6th grade) to be exact. I was a socially awkward child & had very few friends. Anyway, some high school young men (I think they were 11th graders) took it upon themselves to touch me one night as I slept (well lay there afraid to move). I was over a friend's house to spend the night, the 3 young men were my friend's uncles & cousins and I later found out they did similar things to him and his little sister.

Long story short I am trying to work through these issues. My only fear of counseling is that it will open up wounds that are tooooooo sore 4 me right now.

Also, my fiancee told me last night that she is possibly pregnant. So, now I am gonna have to deal with this as hard as it is because, my child will come into this world loved. I am not going to apply the discipline techniques my father did.

Yesterday I cried half the night and just prayed. Then, in the midst of my pain, it was as if a supernatural being (God himself) came to me and took me to sleep saying that I would be all right for there is someone watching over me.

April 21, 2007
1:45 am
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fantas
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Hello Mr. Anonymous, I just came on line to check if you made it okay through the day. I am so glad you know that someone is watching over you. Congratulations on your baby!You do have a lot of issues to deal with. I too was molested at a young age and then violently raped as a teenager. Sometimes I felt like I wore a sign on my face that said, door mat!!!. About counselling, the truth is your issues are coming out all by themselves as you are experiencing presently. All the dysfunction in your life is your issues trying to get you to deal with them. So a good therapist can help you through that. I for one had a real problem opening up to anyone and after a long while my counsellor suggested that I use EMDR, or Rapid Eye Movement, it's usually used with soldiers to deal with PTS, it helped me deal deal with my trauma without having to talk about it. Or like now I can think about it and talk about my stuff we relative ease. This worked for me. There is also hypnotherapy. Replacing some of these negative beliefs with more positive ones. These could supplement your therapy. If for nothing else go to a therapist so you can learn to how to work with your new emotions that are coming up for you. Doing the 12 steps with a sponsor also helped me greatly. You are on your path and it's awesome! 6 months from now you would recognize yourself. I think you will be an awesome dad.

April 22, 2007
9:00 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Thanks 4 the suggestion. I am checking into that right away. Sometimes I feel hopeless & other times I feel the opposite. I feel like I see saw between moods a lot. Lie today I'm in a good mood and feeling extremely confident & hopeful. Well gotta go 4 now, can you explain more about EMDR?

April 22, 2007
9:51 pm
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fantas
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Hi Mr.Anonymous, Hang in there. I'm glad your mood has lightened up a little bit. Keep coming back. This site explains it better than I possibly can.

http://www.emdr-therapy.com/emdr.html

April 22, 2007
10:01 pm
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_anonymous
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You have all the right in the world to be feeling hurt. No one who really loved you would hurt you. This father of yours treated you like an object with no rights or feelings. He had no sympathy or compassion. Everytime you associate with him or even think about him causes you too feel bad which tells me this past is still ruling your life. You should go to counseling so someone can give you permission to let go of this monster both physically and emotionally.

April 22, 2007
11:59 pm
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Mr. Anonymous
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Thanks 4 the insights. Also thatnks for your replies. Well, to be more fair with my assessment of my father. I can say that he was more like Jeckyl and Hyde. Sometimes he would treat u decently (if he was in a good mood). Other times, you were beaten if you blinked too hard. It was as if he was this unpredictable kind of person and you never knew how he'd respond. I'll give an example. Once, I cried about having to sit in the corner and he beat me and began yelling shut up or else. On another occasion on another day, I cried because I was upset with a decision he made. THIS time he was in a good mood, hugged me and patiently explained to me the reasoning behind his decision. Then, he asked me if I understood.

When I look back too, I sometimes wonder why the totally different reactions to the same type of situation.

April 23, 2007
1:37 am
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fantas
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Mr. Anonymous, I understand your quesetions about your father. I hope one day and hopefully soon, he can explain himself to you. If he can't, you will have to work really hard at accepting the both sides of him. When people show you who they are believe them, the first time. It's hard to understand why a parent on who you are whole life relies can hurt you this way? Why you? and if your father who loves you could do this, what would complete strangers do? I struggle with these questions as well. I don't think there is an answer to these questions but to learn to accept the past and forgive. Not to condone but to free yourself from the hold it has on you. It takes time though... I wish you all the best. I am glad you are able to talk about it and face it. Keep coming back.

April 26, 2007
2:24 am
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fantas
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Anony... How you doing buddy?

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