Coping Methods ~ Trying to Escape Myself

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Staying with Me

No matter which coping method issue that I look at within myself I have determined the core of it to be related to trying to leave myself. There is a disconnection from myself that I developed when I was a child; it was my way to escape and I became attached to it. Every time I examine one of those “still tangled threads” I keep coming back to this disconnection that it seems I actually seek; escaping myself. I am convinced that at least one of the reasons that I am attached to this “leaving myself” is because when I was a child, dissociation is what worked for me.

Now I have to remind myself that any form of coping method, although it may have worked at one time, is an escape from me that doesn’t work anymore.

I used to have dissociative identity disorder. I had the kind that was once called multiple personality disorder. The name of it was changed to dissociative identity disorder because lots of people leave themselves or dissociate from themselves and from their identity without actually becoming someone else or having alter personalities. Although I did have alter personalities and I did switch, I have found many similarities to others with dissociative identity disorder that were simply just “dissociated”.

Recovery for me has been about coming home to myself. It is a journey back to me and it is not an easy journey because for about 43 years I tried my hardest to get away from me; dissociating was the way that I did life.  Somewhere between leaving me and coming back to me are the actual steps that I took to get the wholeness that I have today and that is what I write about.

As I take this recovery journey, I become more and more aware that the answers are within me, but when I forget that I start looking for answers outside of me.  I mistakenly think that validation from others is going to help me. I think that having more friends is going to help me. I think that having the most popular blog on the internet is going to help me or losing weight and getting fit is going to help me and I chase those things for a time and come up feeling disappointed and not knowing why. I have to remember that that my validation does not come from outside of myself.  

When I stay totally present it is as though I become “too aware” of myself. Life without coping methods means mega increased self awareness. When I become really aware of myself, I am subconsciously afraid that I might find out that I’m a disappointment, a failure and just plain not good enough.  In the past I took on all that self blame and shame and I needed to keep dissociating because I was too scared to be me, because I thought “me” was so bad. Deep down I am afraid that with too much self awareness, all those memories about being unlovable and unworthy might come rushing up to the surface. The fear has always been rooted in being afraid to find out that the beliefs I adopted about myself as a child, the beliefs that were “taught” to me through actions, abuse, and the behaviour of others, might be true.

I have not switched personalities for several years now and I rarely dissociate the way that I used to either. I have found myself and my purpose. I live my life with passion and conviction and go after my goals with determination. I love my children and I work on my relationship with each of them and on my relationship with my husband almost daily.  I love life. I love the freedom that I have found but sometimes I get going the wrong way too and I suddenly realize that I am facing something I haven’t faced before. And usually when I take a closer look I realize that I have tried to disconnect from myself again. I find myself, and then I get scared and try to leave myself, all the while trying not to admit that I am trying to get away from me again.

It is as though I believe that I can leave myself, in order to deal with myself, without having to feel anything myself. It never works, but I still try.  So for me, this journey is about remembering to STAY with me and that is about self love, self acceptance, self validation and self empowerment.  

 “They” said it was me… But they were wrong. And I have to keep reminding myself that they were wrong, because none of this leaving myself or trying to escape awareness of myself, is conscious. It happens without thought.  And so becoming more conscious is actually the goal. The more I face the fear of being present with myself, the more I realize that the fears are not real. I am afraid of lies; lies that I have spent years undoing and replacing with the truth.

I long for connection, freedom and peace but it is only in coming back to me that I find the freedom and peace that I long for and it is only in self connection that I get to keep it so that I can give it away. The good news is that the more often that I connect to myself, the more I remember that the keys to freedom are within.

And it is key for me to catch myself when I try to leave myself.   

What are your thoughts about this topic? Have you ever related a coping method to escaping yourself?

Darlene Ouimet

Founder of Emerging from Broken.

Related Posts ~ Keys to Living in the Present

Tomorrow I will start to face the pain

But HOW do I Recover?

100 response to "Coping Methods ~ Trying to Escape Myself"

  1. By: Amber Posted: 2nd February 2016

    Light, I can also relate to the things you wrote about. I never really thought about the shrinking until very recently. It’s almost as if I was trying to make myself disappear so I wouldn’t be in someone’s way, or do something they would get angry about, and of course, I needed to protect myself from punishment. I really feared expressing any feelings, wants, or needs. It always led to trouble. I think I shrunk so people wouldn’t notice me, and maybe I could stay out of trouble. Funny that people managed to find me anyway if they needed something to be done or if they needed a scapegoat. There is definitely a lot of fear associated with this. As I described in message 28, I belong Eve the shrinking originated when I was four and crouched and covered my face to try to avoid my mother’s hands slapping my face.

    Love get I am happy to hear that you are becoming healthier and more aware of what is going on. That’s how I started almost three years ago. It is a long process but so worth it.

  2. By: Light Posted: 2nd February 2016

    Yes about dissociating! I can really relate Amber and Beverly and Darlene. I have a slumped posture…someone once described it as “scrunched” and she was right. When I’m aware of it, I also shrink emotionally in response to other people’s strong emotions e.g. reduced eye contact, looking away, not responding, not being “there”. And if I dig further, I have a shrunken way of being in the world that manifests as: not noticing my surroundings in the detail that other people do, being “in my head”, keeping conversation surface when I feel uneasy, feeling strong emotions much later especially anger. I once had a therapist ask me in a session “Where did you go?” and it was true that I went somewhere in my mind and wasn’t in the conversation anymore.

    Lately I’ve been digging even deeper and I think I have shrunken my dreams and goals, not seen myself as worthy of a love relationship, and have become somewhat stuck in my small world. The good news is that I am becoming healthier and more aware of these behaviors and am trying to overcome them. Sometimes I think there is a reservoir of deep fear of which I am only vaguely aware. I didn’t have a model for living-in-the-present emotionally and it’s been a work in process to learn how to respond genuinely and in tune with what I’m feeling, and say things like “I don’t know what to say” or “I feel confused” or “I’m having strong feelings and need a break” or whatever. In the past I didn’t have a way to put words to those feelings!

    Great topic Amber and Beverly and Darlene!!

  3. By: Amber Posted: 2nd February 2016

    Maybe this was a way of dissociating. I found that I would ” shrink” myself in fearful situations. I remember when I was four and my brother, just a year older. We had made a big messin the house and my mother was very angry. As she approached my brother, he said that Amber did it. I remember crouching in a corner as my mother bent over me, and alternating slapping both sides of my face real hard several times. Maybe that is when I learned to crouch and shrink. I did this in other ways too. I shrunk my dreams, wishes and needs down to the point where I would ask for nothing as the smallest thing could lead to an angry reaction from my mother. I also would never speak up when someone wronged me and would often freeze up like a deer in the headlights. This still sometimes happens now, where I freeze and don’t respond. I think it may be a form of shrinking myself to stay safe. I feel great fear when this happens as idpf something awful will happen if I give any response. There are times when I force myself to respond. It is still difficult to do this. I try to remind myself that I am unlikely to actually get hit by someone, although being shouted at was nearly as unpleasant when my mother would do it, and I fear that happening as well. It does feel good to vent about this!

  4. By: Beverly Berzins Posted: 5th February 2013

    Dissociation I experience this I find it extremely disconcerting initially the divides were keeping me from me me from my traumatic memories me and memories all jumbled together. The process for me has been the removing of layers of impositions seeing the reality understanding and accepting what was once my reality. And learning for the first time who the original me is and importantly understanding all the accumulated baggage that does not belong to me. It is literally shedding a load sifting through the debri and allowing the parts to naturally become whole. So far it has been a very difficult and harrowing journey at the same time the only journey that leads me back to me. And I have found so much good that was hidden in the pain. My poetry my songs my love and faith my writing of stories and invention of characters my drawing and painting my natural curiosity joy an happiness my humour and the list goes on I do believe over my youth my sadness became larger than me it overwhelmed me and yet the sun still shone outside. Yes life continued yet I remained locked inside my traumatised mind. This unlocking is taking so long the symptoms awful and I often wonder about this integration people speak of I’m hopeful I will experience this like you have Darlene.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 6th February 2013

      Hi Beverly
      Excellent comments! This is what I have done in my process and one day I realized that I was no longer dissociating as a coping method! It does take time but there is hope! Sounds like you are on the path!
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Doren Posted: 25th November 2012

    Hi Darlene (really like the picture here!)

    boy is this resonating with me, as it’s only been a few days that I’ve realized it’s myself I’ve been trying to escape through drugs/alcohol. I’ve known all these years I didn’t like myself at all, but all I felt I was escaping was “them”. Their rejection of me, my loneliness as a result. I’ve focused so much on my disconnection from others, feeling like a social bystander, it never occured to me it’s from myself I’m most alienated.

    I started 42 years ago at 6 to overeat, and then from 15 to this year drinking and drugs. I can tell from pictures at 6 that I didn’t like myself and was hurting, and as the weight increased my mom shamed me more, and so began a vicious cycle. Food was the only thing soothing me and as I ate I felt worse but at the same time could momentarily forget my big bad self. My dad who went hungry as a kid overate too and he’d let me make my own shopping lists of food I wanted. Mom would pack whole sleeves of crackers in my lunch box to go with my soup when I was 10, I don’t know what she was thinking there since she hated my weight so much. Even at that age she expected me to discipline my eating I guess, they were not involved in that being supremely detached parents. I remember as a young kid sometimes doing like my dad, eating raw hamburger by the bowl, and I, and I alone, getting in shit for it. Honestly what did these people want from me, they didn’t talk to us except to criticize or yell, I lived in a world of tv books and food.

    Once I discovered alcohol, I threw myself into that, sneaking what I could, drinking whole bottles of extract, taking from dad’s tranquilizers and liquor, and their only response was anger and calling me sick. There was no getting me help cause dad said I had to solve my own problems. And I did the very best I could, I see now. I had selfish parents who abdicated a huge part of their jobs.

    All my life I have felt ‘icky’ about myself, that’s the best word. Like I’m afraid to get close to Doren cause she’s strange and different and not normal like others. I can see now that my self-esteem and self-concept has been so contaminated by their programming. As never before in my life though, I am committed to getting better, and taking the scary leap forward without burying in substances. Substances are all I know or remember; it’s a brave thing for me to do because giving them up is a major reversal of their lies about me. It is the essential step I have to take now, in this process of, as you put it, “coming home to myself”.

    {{{{HUgs}}}}

  6. By: Colin Posted: 19th September 2012

    Hi Darlene,
    Yes it is all about discovering our own truth.

    I disconnected from the world as a child neither of my parents were safe to be around, escaped into my head. Emotions were to much to deal with so I numbed myself off from them. Now I can not turn them back on.
    As children we have limited coping abilites and distraction allowed me to survive.

    I do feel frustration, but then I have lived with this habit a very long time and change is not easy, I think the same issue is still prevalent I fear my emotions, I do not want to feel upset.

    How do i begin to allow vulnerability?

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 20th September 2012

      Colin
      Yes, those coping methods were how we survived as children. I had to tell myself over and over again that I was no longer a child. I had to empower myself to go forward. It was like growing up in just a few years even though I was in my 40’s at the time!
      I found that being willing to face the pain brought so many answers and just the willingness to go forward caused the process to build on itself.
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Colin Posted: 19th September 2012

    As soon as my counsellor asks “Colin how are you feeling,” I am out of the room. As a child I thought i had invented a fantastic method of coping. We have been working on developing a sense of self and I have began to trust my inner sensing self. Its like finding a whole new side of myself. Now rather than distracting myself and others I want to change, but how do i begin to get in touch with emotions that I sense as fear.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 19th September 2012

      Hi Colin
      Welcome to emerging from broken
      I was very good at disconnecting and distracting myself and others and the way that I began to stop avoiding those things was to figure out where they originated. When I looked at the actual events that caused me to develop those coping methods in the first place, I was able to comprehend the false messages that were communicated to me about myself. I could see where and why I had those fears and that made it so much easier to face them and learn new ways of dealing.
      There is a ton of info in this website about how I drilled down to the real truth.
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th June 2011

    Hi Mac
    This is an excellent comment and I totally relate to so much of it! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and I love your last line:
    “When tough choices show up, I have found its helpful to remember, that “to thy own self be true”, is only surpassed by “know thyself.”
    Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Mac Aeron Posted: 24th June 2011

    wow. I have to shake my head in amazement sometimes. Darlene you never cease to point out something that connects with my experiences.

    I become more and more aware that the answers are within me, but when I forget that I start looking for answers outside of me.
    I mistakenly think that validation from others is going to help me.
    I think that having more friends is going to help me or losing weight and getting fit is going to help and I come up feeling disappointed and not knowing why. I have to remember that my validation does not come from outside of myself.

    Its hard to trust anything when you have had reality so distorted around you. So much so that its difficult to trust the self. And so much of that comes from the fear. That you will make another mistake and that inevitably it will be used to torture the self again and again. When people in your life expect you to accept unfairness as just the way it is and deal with it, you eventually forget what it was that upset you in the first place because now not only are you wrong for the first imaginary or arbitrary offense, but now you are wrong for daring to complain about the situation. on top of trying to cope with the original unfairness. Sigh. I trusted myself. I believed that what was happening was not fair. That the treatment I received was unwarranted. My reward for such self trust was to suddenly find myself divorced. I wanted behavior changes, not to have my entire world turned upside down. I can’t help but shake my head at the wrongness of it all. But I learned. I learned to say no. To say, I need more. To say what was right. Sometimes those are hard choices to make. When tough choices show up, I have found its helpful to remember, that “to thy own self be true”, is only surpassed by “know thyself.”

  10. By: Dru Posted: 25th May 2011

    I’m at a crossroads again. 5 years ago I cut off all contact with my mother because it got to the point where either I do that or she’ll completely overwhelm me and I’ll cease to exist. Now that I’m dealing with the way she brought me up, I’m starting to realize that I’m in the same situation, except this time it’s a battle of me vs. not me. I don’t have distinct personalities, but it takes tremendous effort me to stay present. I actually had an ADHD assessment booked because I thought that’s what was causing my inability to focus. I’m terrified though and I’m not sure how to maintain a full presence, since I don’t think I ever have.
    Thank you for this blog and for sharing your experiences.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th May 2011

      Hi Dru,
      This process effects many areas of our lives and it takes some time to connect. For me I learned to connect to myself and I was able to stay present more and more as time when on. Hang in here and take your time.
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out of the cRaZy Closet Posted: 5th April 2011

    Hello Silver. Welcome! I am so glad you are a part of Darlene Ouimet’s awesome healing blog-community.

    It is both very hard and very painful, to relive, and to tell about, or to write about, our traumas. It is emotionally and physically very exhausting. Yet I am finding that in speaking, and writing, the truth about my life, especially in this caring community of fellow survivors who believe and accept the truth of my experiences with compassion and understanding, I am becoming FREE.

    With regards to the importance of me telling the TRUTH, as I understand the truth to be, about my life and my traumas ~ I have been accused in the past of lying, or of being so crazy that I “didn’t know fact from fiction.” Many people prefer to believe the worst about me, rather than believe that parents could really be so cruel to their children as mine were to me. This is despite the sad fact that there are very often stories in the news about parents murdering their children ~ it HAPPENS, we all KNOW that it happens, and yet people don’t want to believe my story when they hear it. No, my story about my abusive parents never made it to the news ~ but it shouldn’t take much intelligence for people to realize that, for every horrific child abuse story that DOES make the news, there must be many more simmilar stories, of attempted murder, and threatened murder, and other horrific abuses, that never make become known outside the four walls of the family home.

    That reality should be obvious. But people prefer not to believe stories like mine, just as some people have decided that the halocaust against the Jews never happened… or they believe that the Jews brought it on themselves somehow… or they believe that the halocaust was horribly exxagerated. Some people will believe this nonsense, so they can keep going on with their merry little lives without having to face with the horrific, and all-too-prevalent, reality of abuse and EVIL.

    Before I came across this wonderful healing blog-community of Darlene’s, I have had the experience of telling people about some of my truamas, only to be told, either outright or in subtle hints, that they thought I was lying, or imagining, or exagerating, the whole thing… because they could not, or would not, believe that my parents could have been so cruel to me when I was a little girl?

    Now, because I have been so badly retraumatized, in the past, by people basically calling me a crazy liar, I try very hard to be ulta-careful to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, when I relate the stories of my traumas. But sometimes, while I am telling my stories, I get so emotional that a minor detail may be overlooked, or told wrong. And sometimes, I inadvertantly make a mistake in the telling of one of my truamas.

    As I was skimming back over the posts here this morning, to see what it was you were commenting about, Silver, I noticed that when I told about my dad threateneing to throw me off a tall suspension bridge when I was a little girl and we were stuck in standstill traffic on the bridge between where we then lived, in Oakland California, and San Francisco, where my mother worked…. I got the name of the bridge wrong. It wasn’t the Golden Gate Bridge that my dad threatened to throw me off of, it was the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, which is also a very big, impressive, suspension bridge, located a few miles distant from the Golden Gate, but it is NOT the Golden Gate.

    I know it’s just a minor detail, really, but in my quest for honesty I feel that I have to set this error straight, so that if anyone wants to call me a liar, I, at least, will know in my heart that nothing I am saying is a lie, as far as I am aware.

    I was still a pre-schooler when my family left California and we moved to Missouri, where I spent the rest of my childhood. When my dad was threatening to throw me off the bridge, I was very young, just a toddler, and I doubt if I even knew, at that moment, the name of the bridge we were on, nor would I probably have been aware, at that age, that bridges even had names. All I knew at the time was that we were on a very tall bridge, and it had intricate ironwork overhead, and it was located near our home in Oakland, and near where my mother worked, in San Fransisco.

    Years later, whenever I would see on tv or in a movie or in a magazine, a photo of that world-famous Golden Gate Bridge that is adjacent to San Francisco, my mind would flash back to the trauma of that day when my dad was threatening to throw me off a bridge, and therefore, over the years, my mind put the two things together… photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, and my dad’s terrifying threas.

    But now, as I am in the process of writing my own book about my life traumas, “Coming Out of the cRaZy Closet,” I have been researching and verifying my memories, with the aid of online maps and pictures, and I have come to realize that the bridge on which I was so horribly truamatized as a little girl, was not the Golden Gate, but rather the long, tall suspension bridge betweeen Oakland and San Francisco.

    Does this fairly minor detail really MATTER? Not in the least. My dad traumatized me when I was a tiny tot, by making me really believe that he was about to toss me off of a very high bridge. The name of the bridge, and the location of the bridge, doesn’t make a bit of difference. I know this!

    However, in recent posts on my fb page and blog, I have posted photos of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay bridge, and I’ve told the story of my trauma there, and now here I find this post from 2 months ago when I erroneously stated that the Golden Gate was where I was traumatized. I just wanted to set the record straight… my truama happened, YES, it really did. But, it was a different bridge.

    Silver, if you wish to include some of my trauma story in your book, I would be honored. I would want to proofread what you wrote about me first, though, so I could double-check for….. errors!

    God bless you, Silver, and take it easy on yourself. In our rush to be fully HEALED, sometimes we overdo, and put ourselves into a depression. It happens to me, and when it does I have to back off for a while. Which is why the writing of my book is going so very slowly. I can write on Darlene’s blog very easily, but writing on my own blog, and in my own book, is hard for some reason.

    Hugs,
    Lynda

  12. By: Silver Posted: 4th April 2011

    HI All,

    What can I say,this is an awesome place to be.I can not read on I have to stop reading this thread,the emotions is too much for me to take it all in at once.I wish I could give you all a hug.I have to take a break and come back to you all.so I will book mark this now.

    I am working on women and children affected by violence and abuse.I think I will not stop trying to break the cycle for as long as I live.

    I am working on a book for women to tell their stories as it happens to them.

    If any of you is interested in having her story in my book let me know.

    I have not spoken about my past for sometime now,when ever I do I find myself living it again for days or weeks,I went to the counselor and I could not live for weeks after the first session.amazingly I was so in a hurry to heal so I could move life forward for my kids and I did,in less than 3 months.I would love to share my process with you all on my next post hopefully.

    You all take care.

    You all deserve the best in this life.I feel you all from this part of the world.I am speechless and grateful to find you all here,where a part of me belong and become very alive.

    Thank you for the opportunity to make me feel I am not alone.

  13. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 23rd February 2011

    Yes, Angela, I do have a facebook, and would be honored to have you as a friend, my fb url is: http://www.facebook.com/Lynda.ComingOutoftheCrAzYCloset

    My name there is Lynda Lee, Lee being my middle name, because I don’t want family members on that account, particularly not my young grandchildren and very young niece who I don’t think need to read some of the things posted about my life and the lives of other survivors of abuse and all-around evil insanity.

    Yes, our lives have much in common. When you are going through it, it seems so crazy and unreal, and you feel like the only one in the world like you…. at least, that is how I felt. Amazing, affirming, yet also sad, to learn there are many others.

    Regarding the decision you made to let your mother raise your son when you were drinking to self-medicate your pain, and how you later came to regret and even hate yourself for turning him over to the one who abused you…. OH WOW do I UNDERSTAND that kind of thing!!!! For one thing, the abuse we went through when we were children, it was “normal” to us. We were the small helpless ones, the adults in charge were big and all-knowing. I know for myself, I was so beat down by my parents when I was growing up, that I didn’t trust my own judgment about ANYTHING. I didn’t know what normal was, I didn’t know what healthy was, I didn’t know how to make healthy decisions, for my children or for myself, because I had not been given those tools, do you know what I mean?

    I look back on my life and much of it is like a 100-car pile-up you sometimes see in the news, in heavy traffic, in bad weather, thick fog, black ice, high winds, whatever… and one vehicle rams into another vehicle, which sends that one careening into another vehicle, and then another, and another, it is a chain-reaction of TRAGEDY, like dominoes, one trauma leading immediately and directly to another trauma, one tragedy leading to another tragedy, one bad decision leading to another bad decision, and so on it goes….

    I, too, look back on my life, as a mother especially, and REGRET WITH ALL MY HEART AND SOUL some really bad, sick decisions I made, which “seemed” right to me at the time, or at least seemed like the best I could do at the time. Kid, I couldn’t even THINK STRAIGHT, I was so wounded, so broken, for so many years… how the heck could I make good healthy decisiona znd choices, when my life was skidding on black ice in thick fog in high winds….. know what I mean?

    A saying of the renowned poet Maya Angelou is a life-saver for me. She said:

    “You did what you knew how to do, and when you knew better, you did better.”

    AMEN, SISTER!

    I’m sending you a Big Hug, Angela, and will be looking for you on facebook.

    Lynda

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd February 2011

      Angela and Lynda
      I have just caught up on your recent comments to each other. What you ladies are doing together here is awesome ~ I really hope that many others read this thread. This is the kind of processing that I did to get all to the bottom of all the lies that were “back there”. Getting to the point where I admitted that I believed there were things that I had done in the past, as an adult, that “PROVED” that I was a bad person, was HUGE healing for me. Getting acceptance and validation from someone was even more healing.

      It is horrible that parents can brainwash grandchildren against others. I saw the potential for this before I drew the boundaries with my in laws and my own family. In the case of my mother, I was afraid even when my kids were very young that she was going to “take them aside” and turn them against me, but now that I think about it, she was ALWAYS against me, so what would have changed. This is so much about her sick need to control everything and everyone so that SHE can feel valid. I am so glad that I finally realized that it was not my job to validate her and that I had to learn to validate ME.

      I am honoured to have you both on my blog. I am honoured to read your stories, to be a part of the transformations that are taking place.
      Thank you both. You are courageous and amazing women!
      Love Darlene

      • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 23rd February 2011

        I thought you might like to read the more formal process that I used to understand how my belief system formed when I was processing these events. I believe that this is what set my recovery apart from other processes. I just wrote a post that I hope will clearly define the way my mind worked in order to survive, and ended up adding to the damage. You can read it here: How one Trauma led to Several False Belief Systems
        Hugs, Darlene

  14. By: Angela Contreras Posted: 23rd February 2011

    Lynda,
    Wow your story is similar to mine. I was abused in my first marriage and I drank for years When I was drinking my mom got a life insurance on me and I agreed to do it but then the threats started about wanting me dead cause my would get $100,000. When my son was born before my husband I was not married but had a son and his father just left when I was 2 weeks pregnant so I move back in with my mom big mistake I was used to being abused so living with her was all I knew but it was a mistake cause she took over and I let her cause I was so far into my drinking so my son was brained washed from her since she raised her and I just drank and worked and paid rent but by the time my son was 5 Left and got married to a man who beat me daily. So my son was being raised my this mentally abusive woman who raised me actually she adopted me but she was the only mom I knew. So my son was badly brained washed and my son hated me I had my part being an alcoholic leaving him with her. Then I got sober and my life changed I tryed to renew the relationship and it got worse they both got violent and me being sober she could not walk over me any more I did not let her so she got even madder. My son tryed to push me off a mountain top we were in the mountains on Easter in 01 and I say he tryed but he would of if I did not turn around it was like God telling me to turn around I felt this bad feeling in my gut that he was up to somthing so I turned around and his hand was on me and I cought my balance I would of been dead if I did not get that gut feeling. I share about it in my websites it was true and it is hard to belive I did not want to belive it. I beat myself up for along time I thought I was a bad mom a bad person cause I let my son be raised by the perosn who abused me and let me be abused sexually and she did the same to my son. I beat myself up for so long finally had I to forgive myself for beating myself up once I did that I was able to let go and as I say give my son to the God the power that is not me. I belive we have children they come through us but we do not own them They are Gods children when I think of it that way it helps me to let go. My son is now an adult all that happened was when we was a kid I have not seen him since he was 13 that was when it happened he took me to court with my mom and I let go I fought for a year but then when that happened on the mountain I told the court the truth and why I did not want him with her but also why I was not good for him I told the whole truth. It ended up I owed child support and he was with her. I wrote letters to to the goovernment and had help form people on line who wrote letters about how it was not right how they let him be with an abusve lady to raise him but nothing changed that. So I let go moved out of state and never seen either one of them again. It is painful not knowing what he turned into but if he did not get help he would be worse and it would be dangerous for me to find him. So I dont look for him and I just leave it as if he is dead sounds bad but if I think of him that way it is less painful. But either way it is painful. I am now over 15 years sober my life is good I have a loving husband now and not abusive. We learn to live and walk through what we have to in life even though it is painful at time. Thanks for sharing your story it shows me I am not alone sorry you went through all that. Are you on facebook just wondering? if so I would love to add you and get to know you better. Hugs Angela

  15. By: Lynda Robinson ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 23rd February 2011

    DEAR Angela,
    My heart literally ached for you as I read your words. I certainly believe what you are saying, I believe because I KNOW how sick family systems evolve, I lived through it too. My own 3 grown children tended to take the side of my abusive ex-husband, and I have learned recently that that is typical. Why do they do it? Because they were in Survivor Mode as children, or because they want to side with the strong, they don’t want to be WEAK? I don’t know.. in my case, my ex has money from oil and gas royalties, and with the price of oil being so high, he is rolling in it. He spends money on the kids like crazy. Last month he and his new wife took my 2 grown sons, my grown daughter, their significant others, and all the grandchildren, on a week long cruise to the Bahamas. Meanwhile, I can’t even hire a plumber to clean up the huge sewer catastrophe that happened under our house recently, I had to clean it all up myself. So, money talks….

    I left that ex-husband in 1988 when he refused to get help for me when I was hurt and unconscoius. I have no doubt he was hoping I would die because we each had a huge life insurance policy on us, and for him, who grew up filthy rich, until his dad lost most of his money in a bad business deal, he never had enough. I thought we were rich, but it was peanuts compared to what he grew up with. So he was, I had no doubt, hoping that if they just let me lie there, I would die, and he would get the money. Only 1 of my 3 kids, finally insisted on calling 911 for me, and even then it took that one a long time to finally feel bad enough to do that. The other 2 were content to let me lie there dying.

    Of course, my reaction at the time was, “Am I that terrible of a mother that my own kids want me dead?” My husband now, who has severe PTSD from Vietnam, tells me he believes it was just that they were young and scared and in Survivor Mode. I guess…. it still hurt. That was when I started drinking to self-medicate the pain. Guess what that did? F up my life even more.

    THANK GOD and you wonderful beautiful caring SURVIVORS that my life is NOT AT ALL like it used to be!!!

    But I still, after all these years, can feel only so close to my kids. They run off to the Bahamas with the man who beat me, who broke my noes and gave me a bad concussion, and who even wanted me to die. And all I was doing, God as my witness, was trying to be a good Christian wife and mother. I never cheated on him, I never nagged him. Of course, what I didn’t consciously realize backthen, was that I had married a man who was just like my abusive parents…

    Lynda

  16. By: Angela Contreras Posted: 23rd February 2011

    Lynda,
    You sure have been through a lot. I know some people do not want to belive somthing like that could happen. But it does.. Like with my mom wanted me dead then brained washed my son so they both wanted me dead and told me what they would do to kill me. I had to leave the state that is how bad it got. Some people do not belive me but it is true and those who have expereinced things with bad abuse know it is true. We have to live with the memories it is sad how some people do not want to belive it. I did not want to belive it happened but it happened and I had to live through it. We are not alone many people have been through abuse just many people don’t talk about it. Sharing like you just did is healing for you and for us who read it. Thank you for sharing this I know it is not easy. Hugs to you Angela

  17. By: Lynda Robinson ~ Coming Out Of The cRaZy Closet Posted: 23rd February 2011

    I am SO GRATEFUL to you wonderful fellow survivors and thrivers, and SO GRATEFUL for this awesome blog community.

    For most of my life, I didn’t tell anyone about the terrible things that happened in my life. When I was very young, I really didn’t know how crazy and abusive and how far out of the realm of “normal” my home like was, because it was all I knew, it was “my normal.”

    As I got older and learned more about the world, and learned how very abnormal my childhood was in so many ways, then, when I did staft telling, more often than not, I was not believed. Like, what would I gain by making these awful things up? Or I might be believed for a time… but then I would reach a point where I would tell one more true story of horror from my childhood, and the response I would get would be something like, “COME ON, THAT MANY terrible things can’t have ALL happened to YOU.” BUT – HELLO — when you have a parent who is crazy and mean and selfish enough to threaten to throw you off a bridge, or try to gas the whole family to death, you have a parent who will do MANY insane evil cruel horrible things, over a course of a lifetime. I don’t think that the woman who recently shot her two precious teenagers to death in Florida, was all sweetness and light their whole lives long, until that final terrible moment. When you are living with a selfish, sick, narcisstic, sadistic person, when you are little and they are big and you are completely at their “mercy,” the abuses go on and on and on.

    Then sometimes I have gotten a response along the lines of, “OK, maybe I can buy that your mother tried to gas you all to death… but now you are telling me that your dad threatened to throw you off the bridge? What are the odds that BOTH of your parents would be that crazy and abusive?” That used to really confuse me, too… it was like I thought I had to choose sides between my parents, one had to be good and the other, bad. But the truth is, they were both sometimes good, and both sometimes very very very bad. Maybe because sick is attracted to sick? Like water seeks its own level? Maybe because they got married so young, my mother was 16, dad was 18, and one of them was already really sick, and his, or her, sickness somehow affected/infected the other? I don’t know, all I know is that the things that happened, happened. I have a very good memory, I always have had, I remember in great detail entire events and conversations that happened many decades ago, and I know what is true. I KNOW.

    It used to really bother me a lot, when I would tell about my childhood traumas, and not be believed. It was, in a way, like I was being traumatized all over again. But now, I have gained enough healing and self-confidence that it doesn’t matter to me if everyone doesn’t believe me, I BELIEVE ME, I know what is true, and that is enough for me.

    But it still really does help SO MUCH, to be able to tell of these things here on EFB, and be validated, and cared about, and not have one person even hint that they think I’m not telling the truth.

    If I were going to lie about childhood abuse, I figure I would tell about the more “usual” things, things that people accept now as being sad facts of life in abusive families, things like being beaten severely… I was, a few times, spanked beyond endurance, spanked HARD HARD HARD, and in some cases, for things I was accused of doing that I didn’t do… but physical beatings were not a typical part of my growing up, they were few and far between. Same with the sadly all-too-common experience of incest, child sexual abuse… again, there was a very limited amount of sexual improprieties, with both my parents, on very rare occasions… but that wasn’t the main focus of my parents’ abuse against me, by any means. Neither parent ever went so far as to actually rape me, but I was raped, more than once, drugged and raped, by my own psychiatrist when I was 15.

    My childhood abuse was not “typical,” at least I don’t think it was, it wasn’t typically sexual and it wasn’t typically physical beatings. But it was terrifying, life-threatening, and the message I got, over and over and over again, from both of my parents, and from my grandparents, too, was that I should never have been born, and everyone would be better off without me.

    Sometimes I wonder WHY these old, old abuses still affect me. My dad died in 1988, my 70-something mother lives several states away and hasn’t been a part of my life for years, my choice. I am loved now, I love ME, now, my life is pretty good today. But I still have nightmares about being a little girl.

    Somehow i think that writing about it HERE in this safe and validating and caring forum, is helping with that.

    HUGS to all of you.

    Lynda

  18. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 21st February 2011

    Lynda, please don’t stop sharing. If something causes me pain today, I take it as a sign that there is a reason and I need to look at the issue to see what still needs to be healed. What I feel when I read your comments is not “brought down”. I feel compassion and love for the little girl that you were and that I was. I can cry for you and I can cry for me which I couldn’t do as a child or even as a young adult. Today one of the freedoms that I have and I use is the right to cry and the right to feel it all.

    I write about my experiences with incest on my blog to help others to heal. Like you, I am in a really good place in my healing and in my life. I believe that the healing that we have done can be used as a tool to help others who may just be beginning their journey to healing.

    I didn’t have the support that our blogs offer other survivors when I first started my journey to healing. No one was talking much about incest in the late 1970’s when I first admitted that I was an incest survivor. We have so many resources today that I didn’t have then. My real journey as a survivor began in 1989 in 12-Step meetings. There I found the support that I needed to start talking about my incest issues in a loving group of friends. Today we have the internet to search for that support. Today wherever you live on this planet, if you have a computer and internet access, you can find survivors who will support you.

    You, Darlene and I have lived through those early days where people just didn’t talk about incest if they knew it was happening. We can and have changed that. I am so glad that we have. You don’t have to apologize for sharing your truths. As each of us shares, it helps us all to grow.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st February 2011

      Hi Lynda
      Wow.. thank you for having the courage to share this here on EFB. You have been through some horrific things in your life woman. What a miracle you are. Thank you for sharing all this. I know that reading these stories, these details, help SO many other readers. There is so much great work being done on this blog!

      Please don’t worry about what you post on this blog. That is the very nature of it. REAL, SINCERE, HONEST, and all of this is so healing. I never feel as though your shares drag anyone down at all. I know that sharing this stuff is for the purpose of empowering others ~ and this works! This blog and these shares empower others to go forward.
      Thanks for being here! Don’t stop sharing!!! I LOVE IT!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Patricia
      Thank you also for sharing your horrific stories. You also help so many of the readers here and on your own blog. And as you say, as each of us shares, it helps all of us to grow!
      I am so glad that you are here.
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out of the cRaZy Closet Posted: 20th February 2011

    OH Patricia, Dear One, I am so, so sorry for what you went through in your childhood.

    I had just clicked past to this post, because I wanted to add a comment, basically to apologize if my post brought anyone down, or caused anyone to have a painful trigger. Sometimes I don’t think of these things, until after it is too late and I have already spilled my guts.

    But from reading your comment, I feel a bit better, less like maybe I “shouldn’t” have gone into the detail that I did.

    When I am at my MOST miserable and broken and hopeless, I try very hard NOT to drag anyone else down with me. I prefer to isolate, than risk contaminating others with my misery. But NOW, I am happier than I have ever been in my life. NOW, after a lifetime of hating me, today I LIKE ME. I even LOVE me. I enjoy my life today, and I look forward to the future. TODAY, when I share these terrible stories from my past trauma and abuse, I do it NOT to drag others down, but to say, “THIS is how bad I was… THIS is how bad my life was… if I can now be happy and healthy today, NOBODY is too far gone, or too hopeless!”

    It also helps my continued healing process, as I share these old ancient wounds here on this safe and supportive forum. But even then, I still sometimes feel guilty, wondering if I have gone too far… I don’t want to bring anyone down, with my old tales of woe. If any of the readers feel hurt in or brought down in any way by anything I’ve posted, Please forgive me, and Please let me know, and I will stop posting these detailed memories from my past.

    Lynda

  20. By: Patricia - Spiritual Journey Of A Lightworker Posted: 20th February 2011

    Lynda, no one should have to go through the horror that you described. I was just last week telling a friend of mine that I couldn’t tell her how many times my dad would threaten to get his rifle and shoot someone if they made him angry. I remember one incident where my mother and uncle fought to take the gun away from him in the hay field.

    When I was telling my friend about the incident, I told it so matter of factly like there was nothing unusual about it. In my life as a child, fear was such a constant visitor than I didn’t even recognise what fear was. Like you, I often went numb as a way to deal with fear and all of my other emotions.

    Fear of dying, such as you describe, I understand it very well. I stopped breathing as I was reading your words because I remember what that fear felt like just before I shut down emotionally. Revisiting all of this helps us to heal and to realize that this was not a healthy way to grow up.

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