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Feeling bad about my family’s history?

Hopeful313

Hopeful313

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Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
892
Location
Minnesota, USA
Lately, the idea of having a bad family history is very intrusive and haunting. The moment I remember all the bad things that were committed by my parents and sibling, I find myself telling myself that what an unbelievable and disgusting family history to have. It brings bad memories from childhood.

I was exposed to sexuality at a young age by a female cousin. That had effected my life so much and impacted my way of thinking and acting sexually. Not that I’ve done anything weird or illegal. It’s just consumed so much of my time in the past. Now, I don’t even have any sexual desire to the point I feel it’s not fair for my wife.

This also is effecting how I try to protect my children. I am over protective and don’t let my children play with other kids unless either I watch them or my wife. I didn’t let them stay at my brother’s house. I can never trust anyone with my children.

Other things bother me is what my sisters and brothers have done. Things so horrible I can’t even mention here. I think to myself it’s not my fault but those thoughts just force their way into my mind.

I feel I am need to stay away so they don’t become as a reminder. The problem is in my religion, it’s an obligation to keep in touch with and care about your relatives.

How can I deal with this issue? How can I not feel guilty about what was done by my family???
I honestly need help and advice. This is bothering me so much. I am writing this from the clinic where I see my psychiatrist.
 
B

boots46

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Apr 22, 2019
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27
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UK
I can't answer you question in full as I don't have the answers....however, as a wife of a man who had a terribly abusive upbringing, and knowing that he could never cut all contact with them, he compromises with very low levels of communication. The more time he spent with them, the more it hurt. The less time he spent with them the easier it was to compartmentalise what had happened and remove himself from blame of dysfunction. You are not and never have been responsible for your family's dysfunctional behaviour. No religion worth its salt is going to put your health in harms way in order to satisfy the needs of abusers. Save yourself first I say...
 
D

dewey

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Joined
Jan 16, 2019
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1,015
I agree with above poster. You need to save yourself. Put yourself first before your family, especially if they have a negative and toxic effect on you.

Reading your post was heavy, I feel there's a lot there, and you're right to want to stay away from your family.

I'm so sorry to hear that negative experiences in childhood have had an impact on you in this way, and is currently effecting your marriage. It is terrible that these sick things happen in our world, but know that you are not alone. I'm sure if you do some proper research on google you can find support groups and organisations local to yourself that can help to support you with this.

What I would recommend is be fully open with your psychiatrist that you are currently plagued with this history of abuse, and that you want to see a therapist with expertise in this. You can even research yourself- there will be therapists out there who have specific experiencing of helping people over come their sexual/intimacy issues, and also there are definite therapists out there who can help you process trauma. You should be really specific about what you want to overcome, what do you want to get out of the therapy, what recurrent problems do you have?

I hear in your post that you want to overcome your issues which is a great first step. I also hear in your post there is a lot of pain, and I'm truly sorry for that. I hope and believe you will be able to heal slowly, over time, at your own pace. All the best.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
892
Location
Minnesota, USA
I can't answer you question in full as I don't have the answers....however, as a wife of a man who had a terribly abusive upbringing, and knowing that he could never cut all contact with them, he compromises with very low levels of communication. The more time he spent with them, the more it hurt. The less time he spent with them the easier it was to compartmentalise what had happened and remove himself from blame of dysfunction. You are not and never have been responsible for your family's dysfunctional behaviour. No religion worth its salt is going to put your health in harms way in order to satisfy the needs of abusers. Save yourself first I say...
Thank you for taking the time to reply and help.

I will have to pretend, as best as I can, that the past doesn’t bother me. I wish there is a surgical way to remove some of my memories.

Your words about religion are very encouraging.

Thanks again 🙏
 
Mayflower7

Mayflower7

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Jan 4, 2013
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England
Hi Hopeful,
Please don't blame yourself, you were a child. It also isn't your fault in what your family have done.
Have you ever had any therapy?
Take care
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
892
Location
Minnesota, USA
I agree with above poster. You need to save yourself. Put yourself first before your family, especially if they have a negative and toxic effect on you.

Reading your post was heavy, I feel there's a lot there, and you're right to want to stay away from your family.

I'm so sorry to hear that negative experiences in childhood have had an impact on you in this way, and is currently effecting your marriage. It is terrible that these sick things happen in our world, but know that you are not alone. I'm sure if you do some proper research on google you can find support groups and organisations local to yourself that can help to support you with this.

What I would recommend is be fully open with your psychiatrist that you are currently plagued with this history of abuse, and that you want to see a therapist with expertise in this. You can even research yourself- there will be therapists out there who have specific experiencing of helping people over come their sexual/intimacy issues, and also there are definite therapists out there who can help you process trauma. You should be really specific about what you want to overcome, what do you want to get out of the therapy, what recurrent problems do you have?

I hear in your post that you want to overcome your issues which is a great first step. I also hear in your post there is a lot of pain, and I'm truly sorry for that. I hope and believe you will be able to heal slowly, over time, at your own pace. All the best.
I have an amazing therapist that I’ve been seeing since 2004. She’s also a best friend. There has never been a barrier or difficulty to open up about all issues except the sexual abuse by my female cousin. I just feel so week to tell her.

By the way, this is the first time I ever mentioned this issue to anyone. I felt frustrated this morning and I had to get it out of my mind. Sometimes I feel I am damaged beyond repair.

I have to be strong for my kids.

I am going to speak with my therapist about everything when I see her in 2 weeks.

Your words are very encouraging and I really appreciate it.

Thank you so much.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
892
Location
Minnesota, USA
Hi Hopeful,
Please don't blame yourself, you were a child. It also isn't your fault in what your family have done.
Have you ever had any therapy?
Take care
Hi Mayflower7,

I can only try not to feel guilty and I hope to succeed. I am doing so much to live a positive life and prevent my kids to have similar experiences.

I do have therapy but never mentioned the sexual abuse.

Thanks for your care and concern.
 
D

dewey

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Joined
Jan 16, 2019
Messages
1,015
I have an amazing therapist that I’ve been seeing since 2004. She’s also a best friend. There has never been a barrier or difficulty to open up about all issues except the sexual abuse by my female cousin. I just feel so week to tell her.

By the way, this is the first time I ever mentioned this issue to anyone. I felt frustrated this morning and I had to get it out of my mind. Sometimes I feel I am damaged beyond repair.

I have to be strong for my kids.
I'm glad you have a great therapist.
Yes, opening up is big. Very big. But having said that, you have been seeing her since 2004, and you know in all that time she has been present as a guide for you, and hasn't judged you, so that bodes well for when the time is right for you to open up to her.
I can imagine it has been extremely hard to confront or talk about, so you posting on here about it is huge. I'm glad you've taken this first step, it is very affirming and bodes well for you accepting what has happened.
I can see why you would feel damaged beyond repair, you are not alone in feeling that, the terrible thing about such abuse is that is the feeling it gives people. A feeling they are powerless, and a feeling they are weak, and a feeling that they are irreversibly damaged. But none of those things are true when you consider how strong a survivor is. So strong.
I agree you have to be strong, but not just for your kids, for yourself too. You as well are important. Your kids may give you strength and focus for your life, but validate yourself too. You are important. Remember that. You deserve to heal.
All the best, and it is my pleasure. I know that in the face of such terrible scars it is very difficult to console another, but know that there are people out there who genuinely care and believe in you. You can get through this, you are a strong human being.
 
SomersetScorpio

SomersetScorpio

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13,534
Location
The West Country
I know it's already been said, but the guilt for anything your family has done wrong isn't yours to carry.
Even close blood relatives are not a reflection of you or who you are as a person.
We are all individuals and make our own choices, and follow our own paths.

It sounds to me like you are very aware and you are determined to break the chain of abuse.
Try to see how much courage and strength that that takes.
Your family may be stuck in the same patterns but you're doing really well in living a better life.

Although we had the same upbringing, i'm a very different person from my siblings and i've got no control over how they behave. We're all adults at the end of the day so are entitled to live how we chose.

Take care and I hope that you can start to feel a bit better, and let go of the guilt/shame that isn't yours to be carrying.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
892
Location
Minnesota, USA
I'm glad you have a great therapist.
Yes, opening up is big. Very big. But having said that, you have been seeing her since 2004, and you know in all that time she has been present as a guide for you, and hasn't judged you, so that bodes well for when the time is right for you to open up to her.
I can imagine it has been extremely hard to confront or talk about, so you posting on here about it is huge. I'm glad you've taken this first step, it is very affirming and bodes well for you accepting what has happened.
I can see why you would feel damaged beyond repair, you are not alone in feeling that, the terrible thing about such abuse is that is the feeling it gives people. A feeling they are powerless, and a feeling they are weak, and a feeling that they are irreversibly damaged. But none of those things are true when you consider how strong a survivor is. So strong.
I agree you have to be strong, but not just for your kids, for yourself too. You as well are important. Your kids may give you strength and focus for your life, but validate yourself too. You are important. Remember that. You deserve to heal.
All the best, and it is my pleasure. I know that in the face of such terrible scars it is very difficult to console another, but know that there are people out there who genuinely care and believe in you. You can get through this, you are a strong human being.
I can’t thank you enough for your thoughtful and eye opening reply.

I do believe I can heal. I was doing well most of my life until sometime ago when all gates of hell were opened by anxiety and depression. I don’t know if you have read some of my other posts.

For the past few years, I was hit with really bad news and family secrets one after another. I even learned that my older sister’s death wasn’t the result of a fire as my family claimed for decades. It was my father who killed her at the age of 17. I don’t even know why I have to mention this again when I know it’s not good for my mental health to keep dwelling on these memories.

I am very sorry to sound weak and maybe I am ruining your mood.

I will do whatever it takes to heal and provide a safe and healthy environment for my kids, wife and I.

You guys have been a great support and I really appreciate it.
 
Hopeful313

Hopeful313

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2019
Messages
892
Location
Minnesota, USA
I know it's already been said, but the guilt for anything your family has done wrong isn't yours to carry.
Even close blood relatives are not a reflection of you or who you are as a person.
We are all individuals and make our own choices, and follow our own paths.

It sounds to me like you are very aware and you are determined to break the chain of abuse.
Try to see how much courage and strength that that takes.
Your family may be stuck in the same patterns but you're doing really well in living a better life.

Although we had the same upbringing, i'm a very different person from my siblings and i've got no control over how they behave. We're all adults at the end of the day so are entitled to live how we chose.

Take care and I hope that you can start to feel a bit better, and let go of the guilt/shame that isn't yours to be carrying.
I am and willing to do the impossible to make sure my kids don’t suffer or experience what I’ve been through. This has been the most important goal in my life.

I have a very healthy and functional family. My mental health issues are kept away from them just so that they don’t worry about me.

Thank you for caring and replying.
 
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