Forum: Advice / Girls & Guys

Girls & Guys
in need of closure
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Tue Aug 25, 2015 09:31 AM

Posted this topic way too many times, hopefully this will be the last.

Very abusive parents. Finally left them. Have PTSD now, quite severe. Bit catatonic sometimes, flashbacks, problems maintaining consciousness during flashbacks, chest pains, nightmares, shame (not for anything in particular, but my entire existence feels wrong for some reason I can't name). I can't actually talk now, not sure why other than being scared. Still going out to run errands, I mouth all the words and act otherwise normal. Friends are busy, so no one's noticed.

A close friend who knows my situation told me to cut off all contact with parents. Later a different friend told me to get back in touch but only talk on my own terms, to stop the conversation if it has even a hint of abusiveness. That's what I did, and for two conversations it went alright, but today mother got abusive again. She told me to get some saner friends (two of my close friends have depression, another briefly worked at a psychiatric hospital), I told her that they understand and know what to do in case I (one of the symptoms I listed earlier). Just the truth, nothing more. She told me that fainting is because of heatstroke, but I live in a place where you keep your jacket on during the summer. And flashbacks--because I read too much and get too many useless thoughts. Ditto with nightmares. Chest pains--you're obviously not old enough to have those. And so on and so forth.

And in a neutral, even tone, I said that more than a decade of very severe emotional abuse is bound to leave some marks, I'm dealing with them as well as I can, and it's good that my friends are so understanding and helpful. That all three of us happen to be emotionally unavailable at the same time is unfortunate, but that doesn't mean we should stop being friends. We just wait it out, then deal with the symptoms as well as we can, as usual.

She said, "All you ever do is belittle me; have you ever thought of how abusive you're being?"
I said that pretty much everyone (family members, friends, doctors, 3 psychiatrists, various university counsellors, internet commenters) said I've gone above and beyond in my duties as a daughter while both of my parents are severely abusive.
"All you ever did was talk bad things behind our backs."
No, I'm just saying that what you did has consequences for me and that you should probably stop.
(several sarcastic apologies, insults at me).

I hung up.

Since running away from them I've been at two conferences, edited and sorted over a hundred abstracts, socialised with friends, took care of the friend who told me to cut off contact with parents, helped a friend with moving, worked on my thesis, asked for a promotion at the theatre--in short, remained as pulled-together as I could because there are friends relying on me as much as I rely on them. Can't I get some credit for that? Both friends with depression haven't so much as missed a single day's work. But to have done this to me, then to deny it and to keep doing it, and blame me for all the consequences--this is nothing new, but it hurts so much every time. I think I'll have to cut off contact and probably spend some years convincing myself that it wasn't my fault.

It's so good to be alive, but it hurts so, so much.

6 Replies to in need of closure

re: in need of closure (karma: 2)
By DarcysReelmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 4545, member since Mon Sep 29, 2003
On Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:14 AM
This is going to sound harsh, but understand I mean the best for you:

You're not going to get closure with your abusive parents. They are never going to give you the support you need. You need to go elsewhere for it. You have no reason to feel guilty for leaving them. Stop giving them excuses to hurt you more. Stop talking to them!!

Sometime, YEARS FROM NOW, try talking to one of them. I do mean years from now, when you've become your own person and understand your worth. For now, everything is too fresh, too raw, and too emotionally jam packed and draining. You're just hurting yourself further by going back to them. It is NOT your fault, and you need to cut off contact NOW.
re: in need of closure
By hummingbird Comments: 10413, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:16 AM
I agree, everything is far to close and far too raw for you to deal with it. I'm very proud of you for hanging up on them rather than taking more abuse but you need to leave them well alone for a long time, it may well be years just as DarcysReel says.
re: in need of closure
By SwordInStone Comments: 192, member since Thu Aug 11, 2011
On Tue Aug 25, 2015 12:23 PM
You know, I used to be able to respond emotionally, but that's no longer the case. I can't cry, I can't shout or slam doors or break things like they do in the movies. On the surface it looks as if nothing's happened; I can't emote. Everything goes calmly, and if I'm upset I simply stop talking. If Spiderweb is around he'd be able to tell by testing to see whether I'm smiling only with my mouth, but few people bother to notice these things, so I'm fine even when I'm not, and I'm trapped in some charade of being alright and ready to work, all the freaking time.

DarcysReel, it's not harsh at all, and you're right. And thank you for saying it, I'll find closure myself, no need for them. If I manage to live some years longer, maybe I'll talk to them, but even then I probably won't because my mother talks like a third-rate actress from the soaps.

And hummingbird, thank you for all the posts you've answered, I'm truly grateful.

What to do--keep going, start a new life, grow up (without ever forgetting what it was like to be a child), block out flashbacks as much as possible and try to trust the support network--all that is clear, but it will still be a struggle, and it will still hurt to get up in the morning, and I still don't know if there'll be flashbacks tomorrow, and I'm still physically unable to talk. It hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts
re: in need of closure (karma: 1)
By Kittydoodles Comments: 76, member since Sun Sep 14, 2014
On Tue Aug 25, 2015 02:06 PM
I'm so sorry this has happened to you. You are in my prayers.

In terms of closure, try to put your parents on the back burner for awhile. Focus on forging or strengthening meaningful relationships and enjoying life. Take a year or so, and then step back and reconsider whether it is worth talking to your parents again.

Good luck with healing. I hope you enjoy a fruitful life surrounded by people you love. :)
re: in need of closure (karma: 1)
By Theresamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 34891, member since Wed May 22, 2002
On Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:08 AM
Get a support network, that isn't your friends. They aren't a good support system for themselves, much less you. You need to lean on someone who can support the weight, in a manor of speaking, and the friends who also are dealing with their own struggles might pull it off for a second, but they just can't long term.

And you're not going to get the closure you want with your parents. And I don't blame you for wanting it, but you won't get it. Probably ever. Asking an abuser to agree that what they've done to you is bad will never go the way you hope it does, because of course they don't think it's bad. If they thought it was bad, they would have stopped a long time ago!

Get a network of people around you - not your friends, actual licensed, trained mental health professionals, and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Eventually it will get easier. And some day, when you've finished college and you've got a job that you love that's paying your bills, and you have a nice apartment, and you're surrounded by the family that you've built, full of people who love you and want to see you do well in the world, you'll find out, life's actually kind of great. :) Family isn't just the ones you're related to. Sometimes the one's you're related to aren't that great of an option. Sometimes you have to go find your own family.
re: in need of closure
By ShadowLunaCatPremium member Comments: 8820, member since Sun Sep 12, 2004
On Wed Aug 26, 2015 07:10 AM
Edited by ShadowLunaCat (106208) on 2015-08-26 07:13:50 Not just T! Hers is great, too, but everyone is really great here!
As usual, T , among others, is hitting things right on the head!

I would suggest, if I may, your seeing a clinical, dynamic Psychologist. I would also suggest your attending support groups for others in this space. E.g. more heads discussing a problem or an issue could help support you then you trying to go at this alone.

In reference to the Psychologist, I would urge you to find someone who would help you with the feelings, help you put in "new pieces of dialog" when you need to have new intervention cues, maybe a therapist skilled in DBT/Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, or CBT/Cognitive Behavioral Therapy would help.

In regards to shutting down, I'm wondering if your survival mechanism has erected walls that are keeping you from feeling these emotions, which ARE symptoms of PTSD. I feel that seeing a clinical or dynamic Psychologist could help you bring the walls down in a supportive atmosphere so that you can grow and finally heal on the inside.

This isn't your fault. I applaud your getting out of that stressful, toxic atmosphere and going out for yourself. Your strides are impressive!

I would urge you, too, to keep contact with them at a bare minimum. They are too toxic and not worthy of your time at this point. I agree with everyone about having friends as a support group.

With empathy,

Shadow.

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