I went to see my T today....

Avatar for ateachersangel
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Registered: 03-25-2003
I went to see my T today....
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Thu, 09-04-2003 - 11:13pm
I don't know who else to write to. One of our discussions was about how I'm so loyal to my mother that I can never become anything successful because then she would be wrong about me.......and she could never be wrong. She's always right. I caused my own pain and suffering (not regarding the sexual abuse, just all the rest) and if I'd been a better kid and had done what I was supposed to do I wouldn't have been treated the way I was and I only got what I deserved.

The T started talking about the scared little kid in me, how hurt and beaten up 'she' is. I know everyone says be good to yourself.....but, that just doesn't apply to me. I hate that little kid.....she and I are nothing alike......I hate her and wish I could be rid of her.....unfortunately I have to live with her every day and I ...........I would just like to beat her up.....just like everyone else did...... (even though, intellectually I know that isn't right.....but I can't separate myself from others who've been where I've been. It's so hard to erase those thoughts and tell myself they're not true, when I believe them.

Becky

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Avatar for opal45
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Registered: 04-15-2003
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 7:31am
Hey Becky,

I can relate to a lot of what you're talking about. It's a horrible feeling to be so trapped. I certainly don't blame you for feeling this way, not at all. I was right there with you for years!

I'm sure your T asked you this but I'm curious. If you could beat her up, why would you be doing it? Feel free to blast her here if you want. Your feelings are totally justified and reasonable.

**gentle hugs**

Avatar for ateachersangel
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 8:50am
Hi, Gail.

Actually, she hasn't asked me that yet. It's an interesting question. I don't have a lot of time right now....but here goes:

I hate her because she always got in trouble. I hate her because she was stupid and ugly and everyone else hated her so there must be good reason. After all, one of my mother's philosophies is that if many people have the same thought, it must be true. Anyway, 'she' lied, stole, was just a big chicken...scared of everything and everyone. She made me how I am today....insecure, unhappy, self-conscious.... All she had to do was follow the rules...how hard is that???? Instead, she did anything to get attention. It would have been so much easier for her to NOT draw attention to herself.

That's it for now.

Becky

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Registered: 05-14-2003
Fri, 09-05-2003 - 4:55pm
Hi Becky,

That little girl inside you did the best she could with what she had. She believed the *incorrect* messages she got from her mom and others about deserving the way she was treated. She didn't have a chance to come up for air long enough to feel who she really was. The things she did for attention are pretty normal given the circumstances.

My T tells me that we finish parenting ourselves where our parent(s) left off. This is where we can give ourselves the nurturing and other things that we never got growing up.

May I share with you something I have been doing that has helped a lot? I got this idea from a friend. She suggested writing 5-10 self-affirmation statements down on a card or piece of paper, and reading those statements to myself for 5 minutes each morning and night. The ones I wrote down are things like, "I love you, Heidi--little Heidi and adult Heidi," "I am worthy of love as I am," "I forgive myself for past mistakes; I did the best I could with what I had," "I can and will achieve my goals," etc. I didn't FEEL all of them when I wrote them, instead I wrote things that I WANTED to feel. The idea is that by reading and repeating these things it helps change the way you feel inside. You're replacing the negative tapes that play in your head with positive ones.

It's a scary thing when you get to the point of needing to say "My mother (or other abuser) was wrong and it was all a lie." There are a lot of emotions to work through. But it is so empowering. That little girl isn't to blame for the way your life has been--your mom and others are who hurt you. We are responsible for choices we made, BUT it's important that we forgive ourselves and recognize the reasons behind those choices.

I believe you're at a real turning point in your healing. Little You needs love and nurturing, and you can give that to her. When she feels more at peace, you will too.

I wish you success. Love, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

Avatar for ateachersangel
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 09-06-2003 - 2:56pm
It is tough for me to be good to myself because, truly, I don't matter to me. And, you want to know what's funny? My mother always accused me of being selfish. Now, isn't that a joke?? When people talk about nurturing themselves and loving themselves, I just want to throw up...at least in regards to me. It's so hard to replace those old tapes...I told my T that my mother is like my shadow- even though I've cut contact, I just can't get rid of her. She's in my head...My T says she owns me....at least part of me. I can be so sympathetic toward the kids at school- but, not to me, it's like I don't feel I deserve it. If someone says something nice about me, I shrug it off- ignore it, avoid it.

Intellectually, I know what's right and wrong....but, it's so hard to shake the past away.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Sat, 09-06-2003 - 9:54pm
Hi Becky,

Ariche here. I don't know much about your past but I want to send you some support. I once was told that when you raise your kids you raise your kids for other people. How you present yourself is what matters. You're a grown woman with accomplishments and that should say a lot. Goes to show that how your mother raised you didn't stop you from being someone important in the world. Correct me if I'm wrong. Aren't you a teacher? If so, your students are the first signs to let you know you're important. They need and rely on you. You haven't given up on them, why give up on that little girl and yourself.

That little girl for whatever reason was being punished in a way that was uncall for. My opinion of course going by what I've been reading is that your mother is the selfish one. If she says that everyone thinks the same well everyone can only form an opinion of you depending what your mother told them. That little girl didn't deserve that type of punishment. She is still hurt and sad. Now its time for you to help her overcome those emotions. Once you can help her make a break through, then you can make a break through. When someone gives you a compliment don't let it role off your shoulder take it with pride and pat yourself on your back. Because someone cares about what you have accomplished.

I wish you and that little girl good luck. She needs you as well you need her to help each other through this. It can happen.

Take care sweety,

Ariche

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Registered: 05-14-2003
Sat, 09-06-2003 - 11:45pm
Boy, I can understand what you mean about your mom being in your head. Mine has been there for years, criticizing every decision or action. It really controlled me for a long, long time. I fell into wanting her approval on everything and THAT was a huge mistake, because let me tell you that woman just holds the carrot a little higher until you're barking louder and jumping higher.

It's been about two years since I pulled back to minimal contact, and it's gotten better. It's still taken a lot of work and time to minimize her influence over me. Just over last two weeks I have felt more "unhooked" emotionally. She's still in my head a lot, but she doesn't rule me. I've gone through guilt, second-guessing my decision, anger, hate, wanting to see her hurt, yearning for nurturing from her, the whole nine yards. It's just one step at a time.

Can you just take small steps to be nice to you? Maybe for now just treat yourself every now and then to a book or movie just for you. Maybe write "It was not my fault" and put it on your bathroom mirror where you can see it every morning and night. Even if you don't feel it, every bit of positive you can put into your life will help, even if it takes time. What does your T suggest for dealing with this?

There is an incredible book that has helped me with this called Toxic Parents, by Susan Forward. Some of the best reading I've done in therapy. It brought out a LOT of strong emotions and I went through a very difficult time while dealing with those, but it propelled me to the next level of wellness. It really helped me to clearly see that it WAS my parents' fault, NOT mine, as they led me to believe. This could be a great help for you.

I hope that in time you will feel that you DO matter. I feel sure that you can get to that point. And I feel that you CAN overcome your mom's influence over you. You are NOT selfish, and you deserved to be loved and cherished and nurtured. It does take time to get what you have figured out intellectually from your head to your heart. I have been struggling with that, too, and since doing the affirmation statements (whether I felt them or not), I do feel better inside.

Hugs to you, sweetie. Love, Heidi

HeidiRose

co-cl, Sexual Abuse Healing Board

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Registered: 03-21-2003
Sun, 09-07-2003 - 10:13am
I've been through this, too. For me, getting out of that kind of thinking was a very slow and gradual process. I think it was a matter of building in new tapes to edge out the old ones. I know that being part of an AMAC group helped me to feel as if I were worth treating myself well. My sponsor in OA also helped me by encouraging me to do "reality checks." Every time I would start self-criticizing or worrying about something (ie. playing an old tape), she would have me do a reality check to kind of objectively view the situation. That helped me to see that my worries and criticisms were old tapes and were not relevant to my current situation. And in the rare case that the old tape *was* relevant, it was very empowering to see that I could now *do* something about whatever was wrong. For me, this is the serenity prayer in action.

In case you're not familiar with it, here it is:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

the courage to change the things I can,

and the wisdom to know the difference.


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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 09-07-2003 - 9:19pm
Boy, do I know what you're talking about. I can give so much more understanding to others, and expect so much more of myself. I know in my head that I'm a good person. I just wish I felt it in my heart. It took years of therapy to phrase that in a positive light, and not say "I'm not a bad person". (Just ignore the double negative, I flunked English, more than once.) Rephrasing positively is helping as well as the trying to change the tapes. Sometimes I have more luck with tape changing than others. I've had too much time with my folks lately, dad & bro in particular, and find myself thinking in ways I thought had been licked. At least this time, I know it can be done, which is a very good thing.

Take care,

Deb

P.S. It takes a very special person to be a teacher.

P.P.S. I wonder if you were to think of someone treating your kids at school the way you were treated would help you find more compassion for yourself?

Avatar for ateachersangel
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 6:29pm
Hi, Ariche. Thanks for writing. I'm not a teacher....but I volunteer a ton at my daughter's school - just about full-time. I've been there a long time and have gotten to know a great many kids. I've done just about everything in the school you can do- aside from janitorial stuff.

I don't know about the whole little girl thing. I think it's pretty darned sad that people become the way I am.

Thanks for your encouragement.

Becky

Avatar for ateachersangel
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Mon, 09-08-2003 - 6:47pm
Hi, Heidi.

I had to completely cut contact because she just doesn't get it. She was very abused herself when she was a child and though she did go to therapy for years, I think I'm further along than she is. I wish I didn't have to cut off contact, but I just didn't see any other way. Except for avoiding everything with her...and she's so perceptive that that just wasn't possible. I tried for a long, long time to keep my own healing journey separate from my relationship with her. It just didn't work. Maybe one of these days I'll post my big long story (again- I have in the past). We'll see.

Second guessing. God, that's all I do. And feel so guilty. My T says that's how I was raised to think- everything's my fault, I'm wrong, how can I make her happy, etc. I finally got tired of all the appeasing I was doing for her....and though now I have a lot of guilt, I have a lot more peace in my life. What a trade-off, huh?

Nurturing????? Please.....give me a break....I never got one ounce of nurturing from her-or anyone else for that matter. It seems like I was just doomed from birth to endure everyone's crap. Of course my mother would say what a pity party, but it's how I feel. I would never want to be a kid again for anything. Childhood stunk for me.

My T says for me to 'wrap my arm around Little Becky' and blah, blah, blah....but how do you do that when you hate her??? Cause all she caused you was trouble and pain and heartache???

Yes, I think I've read Toxic Parents. Though, it's been a while- maybe it's time to read it again. It's a LONG way from what I know in my brain, to what I feel in my heart.

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