Growing up with emotional abuse

Shared experiences of life, and the path that has led you to where you are.

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White Lavender
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Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 11:13 pm

Growing up with emotional abuse

Postby White Lavender » Thu Aug 02, 2018 12:26 am

--Sorry, this is a long one--

Growing up emotionally abused isn't really something you notice right away, it's just not as obvious as physical abuse. You can see bruises and scars, but to have to actually take the time and search for that emotional damage that's left behind is not something people like to do, and every time I think about it I can't help but start crying.

When I was a baby, around one and a half years old, my mom died of breast cancer and her eldest sister, my aunt, later came to live with us to help raise me. Her primary focus was always on me, and if I'm completely honest my mind has sort of blocked out the years she spent raising me, but I remember enough to know that I hate her.

She would yell at me until I cried for the smallest things, like not putting my dirty clothes away or forgetting to do a minuscule task, and then she'd say stuff like "go ahead and cry, I don't care", before finally turning around and playing the victim while even sometimes beginning to cry herself, and I actually believed her. She always told me how disappointed my mom would be in me, and it had taken me so long to realize that she was wrong and that she was the terrible person for even saying something like that. She would insult my family in front of me and I wouldn't agree, but I would never speak out against her, because I was scared to make her upset or angry with me. She made me believe that all of my problems were something I made up myself, and to this point that seems to be the biggest thing I struggle with concerning my mental health, just because no matter what I think I always feel as if I can't even believe my own thoughts, as if everything I feel is just something made up and that none of it is actually true.

Even writing this, there's still this voice in my head telling me I don't really have depression, that I'm just making it all up and I have nothing to be remotely depressed about.

Luckily, my dad finally kicked her out when I was eight, but the damage had already been done and in some way each of the things I hate about myself can always be linked back to her in a way I hadn't noticed till just last year. I've gone through multiple episodes of depression, some of which had led to self harm, and the most dangerous ones had come before I even completely realized why I was so depressed, which only built up this sense of doubt that I shouldn't be depressed or that I had no right to be depressed.

Like I mentioned, I always doubt myself because of her. I can suffer through depression or question my own sexuality, but there's always this part of me that tells me that everything I'm thinking is fake. I can't cry in front of other people and I don't like the idea of people knowing I've cried, because I'm so terrified that they'll use it against me, even with small things like going to see a sad movie, where I'll refuse to look at my friends if I've even shed a single tear because this part of me just won't let me. I've somehow managed to grow up with my mind block locked inside a box and stranded in an open field, the box hiding away all the darkness that I might feel and the field leaving me emotionally vulnerable to everything and anything. These are all things that have stemmed from her own twisted idea of raising me and caring about me, because I know she does, or else she wouldn't still visit and leave me anxious for the weeks beforehand and emotionally drained the weeks after.

It took me a while to really place that everything I've been feeling, these months of just tiredness and numbness, was depression, and I still haven't really accepted it. I had associated depression with just really strong and long bouts of sadness, and I never really feel that sad, I just feel tired. I've felt, and sometimes still feel suicidal but not because living is painful, but because I just don't want to anymore, and I don't see why I should. I've never made any attempts to take my own life, but I have this dangerous sense of not caring if I die or not. Opening up is hard for me, after all the one person I was the most vulnerable with turned out to be the most toxic person it my life and I hadn't even realized it, so I've never talked about my depression to this extent to anyone before, just telling a couple of close friends or now ex-friends that I had suffered from depression in the past, but it's never really left, not completely.

Now, I'm going to submit this before I manage to talk myself out of it, because I am so desperate to at least write this all down and get it out in the open. I really want it to help me.

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Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:04 am

Re: Growing up with emotional abuse

Postby CamGirl » Thu Aug 02, 2018 4:58 am

writing what you feel and think can help you a great deal in controlling your emotions... don't give up... take courage!

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Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2018 11:06 pm

Re: Growing up with emotional abuse

Postby sherril2291 » Thu Aug 02, 2018 8:14 pm

Thank you so much for having the courage to get on this board and write all that out. If I heard you correctly, it sounds like when you were very young, your aunt discounted your very real emotions, somehow causing you to believe that what you were feeling and experiencing wasn't important, to the degree that deep down you're convinced that what you think and feel now doesn't matter.
It never fails to amaze me how much affect the words we heard and the way we were made to feel about ourselves as children continue to have so much influence on us as we grow up.
You may have heard this before, but I really believe you would benefit from counseling. I'm only saying this because I myself grew up being discounted as a human being from both my mother and father, and I did almost follow through on my desire to leave this Earth before I finally agreed to accept help and was able to turn my life around. I had to retrain my brain step by step to recognize that I was a wonderful and worthwhile human being that has many things to contribute to my friends and family - even those parents who put me down so much as a child. It wasn't easy and it took a while, but the effort was well worth it. The anger and frustration and everything else I felt towards them was eating me up inside, although I didn't "feel" angry - I felt tired and withdrawn. Eventually, I had to come to terms with releasing these feelings towards them, and that was what finally set me free, but you're not there yet. For now, I hope you will consider allowing a professional to help you heal that beautiful heart of yours.

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