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I’m so overcome with pain

C

Cornflowerblue

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
24
Location
UK
Hi every one. I’m new here. The reason I sought out this forum is mainly because I’m desperate to tell my story just to stay sane. I’ve never had therapy before, at the moment Im on a long waiting list but I’m not sure if they will believe me as half the time I don’t believe what I feel myself. I‘ve been so anxious and hyper vigilant, I cant shake off the ever present sickening worry that some drama is just about to unfold. I suspect I grew up in a toxic family environment and probably a victim of long term childhood trauma. I’m not sure if my childhood experience qualifies as ‘trauma’ or ‘abuse’but im definitely traumatised and I feel so anxious. Basically I want to share my story with kind people if only for affirmation that I’m not absolutely mad in believing my current desperately anxious state of mind is linked to my childhood.

I did not grow up in the UK where I live now. I grew up in an environment where my father left to find a better job overseas (he never did) and we were left behind to fend for ourselves more or less. My mother was targeted and abused by her own narcissistic mother as a child and subsequently married my father who also came from a dysfunctional family that was often violent, verbally and emotionally abusive in the extreme. When my father abando us under the pretext of finding a better life for us, over the years she unravelled mentally and bordered on the unhinged. My life under her roof was a nightmare with few good parts. I have flashbacks when I question if all this ever happened. She had terrible tantrums where she would cry and bawl for hours. She had episodes that brought out all the pain she suffered over the years and I became the target so to speak. She was targeted by her mother with her older sister being the favourite, the pattern was repeated here. She had frightening turns where she expected me to grovel for hours for forgiveness mostly over nothing for example saying I did not want to visit a relative with her or did not want to go shopping with her right now or even choosing the ‘wrong’ seat if we ever dined out. Any perceived affront to her brought back all the rejection of her past and she was inconsolable and cruel. She hit out with whatever was in her hand and showed no mercy. She cried for hours and I had no escape from punishment until she calmed down. My life was hell. I walked on eggshells. These episodes were infrequent but regular and predictable. My sister had in her late teens somehow landed a job which brought in a good salary so she became someone my mother looked to as her salvation. This sister became her main focus and I became the scapegoat. In my mother’s eyes my sister could do no wrong especially when it came to her dealings with me. Knowing that my sister took advantage . Growing up we were never close and she was never nice to me and couldn’t care less if I was hurt or cried. All her callousness was overlooked though because I supposedly made things up and was lazy and rude while she was useful and could earn money. I never felt safe. Life was nothing but pain and counting the days till I left. My mother used all the money she got on her own needs and wants. I could at times borrow her clothes but nothing was ever bought for me. I had to pretend and manipulate in order to breathe. I hid from my sister who was domineering, loud and a bully if she saw me. She had an air of dominance and superiority which unfortunately my mother completely failed to check. She still can be a bully if I let her, especially if I was unfortunate enough to live within her power my life wouldn’t be worth living. I was in trouble with my mum if I didn’t show my sister meek compliance. Ironing her clothes, going with her if she demanded it etc. Protesting was useless, she was always found right by my mother which meant more abuse for me. I stopped complaining because I knew the outcome. To this day this hasn’t changed. My younger brother was my sister’s favourite who said yes to everything but later made excuses and was forgiven. I was more straight forward so very much the problem. I wanted equality and safety but made to feel more like the hunted, the prey. The feeling hasn’t left me, I’m seeking therapy. I still startle to find their phone messages waiting for me. Years ago I cried for months and years in secret and prayed to get out of this hell. I was a timid, kind, conscientious and respectful young person compromised by my circumstances. Please note I wasn’t able to leave home or work or be independent safely in that country any sooner. The abuse ended when I left the country in my early 20’s. Its been 15 years now. I have visited them and invited them over too . Things have vastly improved in that I live on a different continent and I have two beautiful children and a good husband. My mother and sister have probably long forgotten all this because it’s easy for them to forget but the undercurrent of their superiority remains. My mother’s narrative of my childhood is glowing full of all the ‘support’ I was given which I believe is a form of unintentional? gaslighting. I think I still live my mother and feel sorry for all that she went through. I still can’t express myself to them. They don’t believe I suffered at all, just that I am rude, selfish and ungrateful when they can’t control me over something. Numerous times in the recent past when I have tried to talk to her about how her unfair treatment of me with regard to my sister she doesn’t admit it at all. To add insult to injury at the end of the conversation she would always tell me to call my sister, ask her how she is, suck up to her, fear god and not be unkind to the poor child?!? My mother and sister are both controlling in their own way. I can talk carefully to my mother but in the end due perhaps to her dependence on my sister she will always side with her if put on the spot. I will be labelled selfish if I express any need, even today if I ask them say to alter their plans /visiting dates for example they will not be happy with me. My needs don’t matter. To them my needs are ‘selfish demands’. The only acceptable answer is ‘yes’. The outcome is I like to be alone. I don’t like them staying more than a few days.. I have developed a mistrust of people. I feel they will necessarily disrespect my boundaries. Maybe I still love them but I’m allergic to them as well. If I don’t comply with their demands they will withdraw their ‘love’. I must stay within reach, ready to be controlled if the need arises. I don’t know why I’m still so afraid of their anger and being unloved and forsaken. I don’t want to risk their goodwill but I don’t want to be walked over any more either. If I don’t text my sister back my mother sends me long voice messages that I’m not being a good person. My anxiety is tgat my sister will force a visit and act all close and become overbearing and I can’t seem to find any peace . I know I need help or I’m going crazy. I’m sorry if all this doesn’t make any sense...
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
3,749
Location
England
Hello and welcome to the forum. I am so sorry for all you have been through. You have suffered from trauma and abuse. Your mum and sister denying it all is dismissive and hurtful but sadly that is what abusers do. Please never feel you are wrong for feeling the way you do. You feel that way because of the way they have treated and tried to control you all your life. I am very glad to hear you are on the waiting list for therapy. I think it will help you a lot to make sense of your feelings and allow yourself to be heard.

It is very difficult to cut family out of our lives but sometimes it is the only option we have if we are to heal.
 
C

Cornflowerblue

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
24
Location
UK
Hello and welcome to the forum. I am so sorry for all you have been through. You have suffered from trauma and abuse. Your mum and sister denying it all is dismissive and hurtful but sadly that is what abusers do. Please never feel you are wrong for feeling the way you do. You feel that way because of the way they have treated and tried to control you all your life. I am very glad to hear you are on the waiting list for therapy. I think it will help you a lot to make sense of your feelings and allow yourself to be heard.

It is very difficult to cut family out of our lives but sometimes it is the only option we have if we are to heal.
Thankyou for your kind words x
 
C

Cornflowerblue

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
24
Location
UK
I am sorry for writing such a long post that may be a turn off for people since it was meant to be an introduction. Apologies
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
3,749
Location
England
I am sorry for writing such a long post that may be a turn off for people since it was meant to be an introduction. Apologies
You do not need to be sorry. A lot of people talk about their experiences in the introduction.
 
Zero One

Zero One

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
2,538
Location
United States
Hi every one. I’m new here. The reason I sought out this forum is mainly because I’m desperate to tell my story just to stay sane. I’ve never had therapy before, at the moment Im on a long waiting list but I’m not sure if they will believe me as half the time I don’t believe what I feel myself. I‘ve been so anxious and hyper vigilant, I cant shake off the ever present sickening worry that some drama is just about to unfold. I suspect I grew up in a toxic family environment and probably a victim of long term childhood trauma. I’m not sure if my childhood experience qualifies as ‘trauma’ or ‘abuse’but im definitely traumatised and I feel so anxious. Basically I want to share my story with kind people if only for affirmation that I’m not absolutely mad in believing my current desperately anxious state of mind is linked to my childhood.

I did not grow up in the UK where I live now. I grew up in an environment where my father left to find a better job overseas (he never did) and we were left behind to fend for ourselves more or less. My mother was targeted and abused by her own narcissistic mother as a child and subsequently married my father who also came from a dysfunctional family that was often violent, verbally and emotionally abusive in the extreme. When my father abando us under the pretext of finding a better life for us, over the years she unravelled mentally and bordered on the unhinged. My life under her roof was a nightmare with few good parts. I have flashbacks when I question if all this ever happened. She had terrible tantrums where she would cry and bawl for hours. She had episodes that brought out all the pain she suffered over the years and I became the target so to speak. She was targeted by her mother with her older sister being the favourite, the pattern was repeated here. She had frightening turns where she expected me to grovel for hours for forgiveness mostly over nothing for example saying I did not want to visit a relative with her or did not want to go shopping with her right now or even choosing the ‘wrong’ seat if we ever dined out. Any perceived affront to her brought back all the rejection of her past and she was inconsolable and cruel. She hit out with whatever was in her hand and showed no mercy. She cried for hours and I had no escape from punishment until she calmed down. My life was hell. I walked on eggshells. These episodes were infrequent but regular and predictable. My sister had in her late teens somehow landed a job which brought in a good salary so she became someone my mother looked to as her salvation. This sister became her main focus and I became the scapegoat. In my mother’s eyes my sister could do no wrong especially when it came to her dealings with me. Knowing that my sister took advantage . Growing up we were never close and she was never nice to me and couldn’t care less if I was hurt or cried. All her callousness was overlooked though because I supposedly made things up and was lazy and rude while she was useful and could earn money. I never felt safe. Life was nothing but pain and counting the days till I left. My mother used all the money she got on her own needs and wants. I could at times borrow her clothes but nothing was ever bought for me. I had to pretend and manipulate in order to breathe. I hid from my sister who was domineering, loud and a bully if she saw me. She had an air of dominance and superiority which unfortunately my mother completely failed to check. She still can be a bully if I let her, especially if I was unfortunate enough to live within her power my life wouldn’t be worth living. I was in trouble with my mum if I didn’t show my sister meek compliance. Ironing her clothes, going with her if she demanded it etc. Protesting was useless, she was always found right by my mother which meant more abuse for me. I stopped complaining because I knew the outcome. To this day this hasn’t changed. My younger brother was my sister’s favourite who said yes to everything but later made excuses and was forgiven. I was more straight forward so very much the problem. I wanted equality and safety but made to feel more like the hunted, the prey. The feeling hasn’t left me, I’m seeking therapy. I still startle to find their phone messages waiting for me. Years ago I cried for months and years in secret and prayed to get out of this hell. I was a timid, kind, conscientious and respectful young person compromised by my circumstances. Please note I wasn’t able to leave home or work or be independent safely in that country any sooner. The abuse ended when I left the country in my early 20’s. Its been 15 years now. I have visited them and invited them over too . Things have vastly improved in that I live on a different continent and I have two beautiful children and a good husband. My mother and sister have probably long forgotten all this because it’s easy for them to forget but the undercurrent of their superiority remains. My mother’s narrative of my childhood is glowing full of all the ‘support’ I was given which I believe is a form of unintentional? gaslighting. I think I still live my mother and feel sorry for all that she went through. I still can’t express myself to them. They don’t believe I suffered at all, just that I am rude, selfish and ungrateful when they can’t control me over something. Numerous times in the recent past when I have tried to talk to her about how her unfair treatment of me with regard to my sister she doesn’t admit it at all. To add insult to injury at the end of the conversation she would always tell me to call my sister, ask her how she is, suck up to her, fear god and not be unkind to the poor child?!? My mother and sister are both controlling in their own way. I can talk carefully to my mother but in the end due perhaps to her dependence on my sister she will always side with her if put on the spot. I will be labelled selfish if I express any need, even today if I ask them say to alter their plans /visiting dates for example they will not be happy with me. My needs don’t matter. To them my needs are ‘selfish demands’. The only acceptable answer is ‘yes’. The outcome is I like to be alone. I don’t like them staying more than a few days.. I have developed a mistrust of people. I feel they will necessarily disrespect my boundaries. Maybe I still love them but I’m allergic to them as well. If I don’t comply with their demands they will withdraw their ‘love’. I must stay within reach, ready to be controlled if the need arises. I don’t know why I’m still so afraid of their anger and being unloved and forsaken. I don’t want to risk their goodwill but I don’t want to be walked over any more either. If I don’t text my sister back my mother sends me long voice messages that I’m not being a good person. My anxiety is tgat my sister will force a visit and act all close and become overbearing and I can’t seem to find any peace . I know I need help or I’m going crazy. I’m sorry if all this doesn’t make any sense...
It all made perfect sense. You have been through a lot. Some very hurtful experiences. If you know you need help, please don't delay in getting it. The story you told has so many attacks on thethings it takes to make a person. My sister used to fight me and bother me a lot when I was little and I was surprised to find she was jealous of me. She was my parent's and the family's favorite. There were only three people in my family who favored me more and we have a big family. When I was 12 she fought me to show off to her boyfriend I fought back and she ended up running away from me, but acting as if nothing happened. Then years later she commented how when I started to get bigger she couldn't fight me anymore because it seemed to her I was going to win. Your story reminds me of some of the dynamics in my family. Hope you get help and things go well for you. Trauma is difficult.
 
C

Cornflowerblue

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
24
Location
UK
It all made perfect sense. You have been through a lot. Some very hurtful experiences. If you know you need help, please don't delay in getting it. The story you told has so many attacks on thethings it takes to make a person. My sister used to fight me and bother me a lot when I was little and I was surprised to find she was jealous of me. She was my parent's and the family's favorite. There were only three people in my family who favored me more and we have a big family. When I was 12 she fought me to show off to her boyfriend I fought back and she ended up running away from me, but acting as if nothing happened. Then years later she commented how when I started to get bigger she couldn't fight me anymore because it seemed to her I was going to win. Your story reminds me of some of the dynamics in my family. Hope you get help and things go well for you. Trauma is difficult.
I’m so sorry you went through that, favouritism is so harmful it should never be allowed. It is particularly painful if one or both parents take part in it, it just destroys a person from inside. I wonder if your sister has changed now. Mine seems to have mellowed slightly but then I live in a different country now. I’m still petrified and paranoid she will fight with me and try to control me like a puppet again
 
Zero One

Zero One

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
2,538
Location
United States
I’m so sorry you went through that, favouritism is so harmful it should never be allowed. It is particularly painful if one or both parents take part in it, it just destroys a person from inside. I wonder if your sister has changed now. Mine seems to have mellowed slightly but then I live in a different country now. I’m still petrified and paranoid she will fight with me and try to control me like a puppet again
My sister is worse now.
 
C

Cornflowerblue

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
24
Location
UK
So sorry to hear that. Have you ever had therapy/counselling to heal mentally? If so, did it help?
 
Zero One

Zero One

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2020
Messages
2,538
Location
United States
So sorry to hear that. Have you ever had therapy/counselling to heal mentally? If so, did it help?
No I'm still too unstable for therapy but that is what I am working towards. I think it will help. Lately I've been having flashbacks of some of the terrible things I did and it is so hurtful and traumatizing to me when I'm in my right mind, but I had zero conscience when I was not. I wonder if they would diagnose me differently if I told them these things... maybe I am some sort of psychopath. Have you ever been through therapy?
 
C

Cornflowerblue

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
24
Location
UK
I’m getting therapy via video calls. Had two sessions, been asked to do some ‘mindfulnes’ exercises. I don’t know if anything will help with my anxir and feelings of DREAD or if I can ever scratch them off my mind, they are ever present. I’m still afraid of my family. I’m afraid and I never feel safe from their emotional violence
 
bpd2020

bpd2020

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
3,749
Location
England
Well done for starting therapy, cornflowerblue. That was very brave of you. It will take time to heal from such an ordeal. I would just take things slowly and do not expect too much of yourself.
 
C

Cornflowerblue

Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Messages
24
Location
UK
Can I ask if it’s normal if your therapist/counsellor lady does not want you to talk about specifics of your early life or how famiy with you now. She only wants to talk about mindfulness exercises and such like. She implies that when we talk about the awfulness of how things were we can’t move forward. Is that common? We have had 3 sessions. After the first she was sort of reluctant to talk about my actual family o4 events but just wants to know how I feel and work on mindfulness which leaves me unsure of whether I should say something or not. Maybe therapists are supposed to work in healing only? I have no idea.
 
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