New here... Hello all.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-11-2007
New here... Hello all.
1
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 11:41am

Hello all...This is my first time here.

It's hard to open up. Communicating about my feelings has never been easy. I learned as a child that it's best to just stay quiet. The more invisible I was, the less likely I was to get yelled at. And so today, I am here. I'm here because I feel like so alone and sad. I have all these negative feelings about me despite all the good things I have in my life. I'm a professional woman with a good job and a great kids. Sure, having a family comes with its own set of problems, but those are understood and manageable. In fact, when I look at my life as whole, I have a good life, I really can't complain.

My problem is this: I feel abandoned. I never lived with my parents, they had me when they was too young and couldn't take care of me. I know that they did the best for me... yet, I feel so unloved and undeserving. I bounced around from family to family, always aware of who and how they were. Along the way, I was sexually abused, and I can't help feeling that because of it, I'm more tainted to them, more undeserving. I am 35 years old now and I haven't seen them in over 17 years. All my life I worked to make myself a better person, someone they could be proud of, someone *I* could be proud of ... someone worth of their love. I could reach out to them, but I'm too damn proud to do so. How stupid is that? I'm just afraid of rejection again.

Anyways, this weighs heavily on me. I've tried therapy, but it didn't really work, or maybe she just wasn't the right therapist. I need to let go of this... and move on. How do I do it...?

I feel so trapped inside, unable to breathe; panic and loneliness sets in...

Avatar for firstglimpse
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-08-2003
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 4:33pm

I understand what you're feeling - to a point. I was never bounced around. My father did leave when I was 3 years old & would come in momentarily only to disappear again throughout my life. My mother is a narcissist, so even though she was a constant in my life, still felt abandoned. I come from a family of five & my mom must have been having some sort of lucid moment a few years ago & wrote me an email apologizing b/c she realized out of the 5 children I never received any attention from her. Why? Because, like you, I stayed quiet & unnoticed so I would not be yelled at.

We are the type of people who will sacrifice ourselves completely in order to make other people happy. Unfortunately, from what I understand, this does tend to be one of the traits anxiety & panic disorders.

What I'm learning is people like this are incapable of showing love, even if they happen to feel it and *we* need to stop expecting them to change. Really, with all the changing we do to try to see if we're accepted that way is really asking them to change for us to display some sort of love and/or acceptance.

I find with my sisters they continue to hope my mom will change and accept them. I'm finding they are struggling a bit more than I am emotionally. I believe I've been able to accept my mom as she is better than they have.

I don't know if you should contact them if you're still in a place where you do not feel you can handle their rejection. Because, well, you'll get it again. I do not bother to contact my father at all. As my kids grow they want to get to know him, but my DD is only 5. I've told my DS (7) he has to wait until my DD is closer to 7 and then I will try to open the doors for them to get to know each other. But I'll only do it once & understand if he stops contact it has NOTHING to do with them, but instead EVERYTHING to do with him. But I will not watch them go through the pain I have & therefore I will give it one try only. If, when they are old to enough to make contact on their own, then I will not stop them - but I will only set this up once.

If you do decide to contact them there is a great secret I learned which really does help. It's called JADE.

You never...

Justify,
Argue,
Defend or
Explain

when communicating with people like this.

It's most likely your parents suffer from a mood disorder of some sort. It might help, before contact, you take the free Family to Family class at NAMI (National Association for Mental Illness). This could help you to prepare yourself by setting & keeping your boundaries, learning how to communicate & how to protect yourself.

Then stop trying to make anybody but yourself proud of you. Once you are proud of yourself, it will wear off onto the people who count - like your spouse & children.

Easier said then done :-) I've been working on it for years & I still have a long way to go. But I have made a new motto for me, 'I'd rather make it last than make it fast.'

Peace




"Only when we are sick of our sickness shall we cease to be sick."

~ Lao-Tzu, from The Tao Te Cheng