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I don't know if I belong here



Jan 1, 2021
I'm terrible at telling my story and I don't even know if I belong here, but something inside is telling me to write on here so here goes... ***TRIGGER WARNING - discussion of emotional neglect and abuse.

I am a 27 y.o. female, and for all of my life I have always had an anxious disposition. As a child, I never felt close to anyone in my family (except for my mother but we have a codependent relationship which I just realized recently). I didn't notice until the last few years or so that I don't have the relationship with my father that my friends have with theirs. He is emotionally distant, neglectful, and sometimes emotionally abusive, especially towards my mother. She once told me recently that he's pretty much a sociopath. No empathy. No emotional capacity whatsoever. He has always been this way, but I never realized any of this.. that I actually was emotionally neglected and abused throughout my childhood.

My father never once made an effort to get to know me or understand who I am, nor would he ever notice if I had a problem going on in my life. Any emotions I would express around him he would either dismiss them completely or tell me that they weren't real. "You don't really feel that way." "You don't mean it." He would never keep any eye contact with me, as if I do not even exist or am worth talking to. After everything that has happened with the pandemic, my father not once checked in with me (I unfortunately have been living with him). Every time I am with him, I feel even lonelier then when I am actually alone.

I had a cat recently who had attacked me, and when my father came home and I told him what had happened, showing him my bloody arms and legs (it a was horrible attack. I don't want to get into detail.) clearly in pain, but he didn't feel sorry for me. No emotions to be detected. He just looked at me and gave me an awkward smirk. Didn't want to take me to get cared for or didn't bother to try to do it himself. He just went back to business as usual, reading the newspaper and watching tv. I had to drive myself to the fucking urgent care with my bleeding arms and legs to get a shot and an expensive medical bill. I was there alone. That felt like a turning point for me.

I stopped bothering to talk to him because anytime I ever tried to connect, he wouldn't follow through. I sometimes feel guilty for not giving him my own attention. But why is it up to the child to pick up the pieces? To this day, he is unwilling to have a relationship with me. Every time I am around him I feel unloved but at the same time, I want to avoid him like the plague. He never makes the effort to tell me he loves me. He doesn't feel like my dad. He's just a person that I live with. I honestly probably won't be that sad when he finally passes.

As an adult, I feel that I have exhibited many symptoms that could be related to C-PTSD. I feel that I have severe abandonment issues - more like a fear of rejection. At the same time, I avoid close relationships. Ironically, I have never had a serious relationship before so it's like, "how could you know what abandonment feels like if you had never been in a situation where abandonment was possible?" Maybe it has to do with my father? I would hear stories of women who constantly seek male approval in toxic relationships, but that has never been me at all. I avoid everyone. So the "clinging to relationships" box is not checked off in my case.

I experienced a lot of bullying in high school too. I have major trust issues and struggle to connect with others. I am unable to open myself emotionally. I'm such a people pleaser and perfectionist, I would put people's needs often before my own. Assuming everything is my fault? Check. I am hyper-vigilent in my surroundings and struggle with anxiety, depression, and identity issues (centered around my sexual identity). I am always jumpy when people get too close to me, and I would constantly hear other people asking me why I am I so nervous and anxious all the time. I go emotionally numb when conflicts arise and cannot function almost. My body just shuts down. I often have feelings of shame and guilt. I went to see a psychiatrist for an anxiety diagnosis but she could not find a proper diagnosis that fits so I was diagnosed with "unspecified anxiety." Obviously I was not happy about this.

All I know right now is that I have anxiety and depression... but I have a feeling there is trauma there in the mix. Possibly OCD too. I know that emotional neglect is not the same as sexual or physical abuse, but I feel that I am experiencing similar PTSD symptoms. I just know something is not right with me.


Well-known member
Forum Safety Team
May 14, 2020
When reading your text I could relate to many things and it saddens me that it have caused you so much pain. Emotional abuse and bullying will leave trauma behind which will take a lot of time to work through and heal from but it can become better. So it’s good you have reached out for help and trying to figure it out :hug:
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