Does it ever really end?

by Leandra Nightwolf
(TX, USA)

I'm 61 yo and was sexually, physically, emotionally, verbally & spiritually abused most of my life. First in a family of alcoholic parents and my adoptive father was a violent alcoholic and then by 4 spouses and 2-3 other men I'd had relationships with. I have been chasing this tiger's tail all my life once I learned about codependency and being an adult child. Still I can't seem to get anywhere with myself. I still run after the same kind of people that are not available. My grown sons have cut me off and I have no idea why. I know I wasn't a perfect mother and some of what I did was just what my mother had done but I tried to do the best I could at the time. I didn't realize that I had issues. However, I never abused my sons intentionally. I'm so tired of reading the same stuff over and over and still I'm not fixed. What is the problem???
~~~Leandra

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Oct 07, 2013
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Process
by: Anonymous

Hi Leandra,
Thanks for sharing your dream & Don's reply was so insightful. You answered yourself if you reread your quote below.

"the more I loved on the child, it started to heal. By the end of the dream I had loved the child into a beautiful little girl with no deficits. I kept saying it was a miracle!"

I know it's hard to let go of the children & to go on w/ your own healing but I think it's the only way that you can ever have a new relationship w/ them in the future. We cannot expect our adult children (it doesn't matter how old they are) to understand such complex things as our inner pain & hurt, confusion & codependency, our own individual lives, etc. but as we take ownership of our own healing journey thru the help of those who are equipped to help us & be dedicated to follow new ways of thinking, then at some point in time, they will see that we are different...there's no way that just talking about it will help...not at this point. They are not the ones to help us...we get comfort others & strength from God & the process of healing & a good therapist, THEN in the future, we can SHOW them the change. They want a mother who's healed & not leaning on them. Again, if you are willing to do things in a different way this time around, you will find the new answers in a process...hope this helps & encourages you. Donna

Oct 07, 2013
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dreams & life...
by: Leandra

DON: I tried to post my response but it was too long and I thought too important to cut so I sent it to you via email.

I am so tired of being me and constantly trying to carry the weight of all the pain and regrets of my life. You'll understand when you read my email. I'm also tired of the dreams.

All I can hope for is that I didn't cause as much pain to my kids through my codependency as has been handed down to me. They haven't spoken to me since 1998 so I will never know if I could have helped them heal. Things don't get healed if you don't talk about it but they don't understand yet even though they are 36 & 40.

Oct 04, 2013
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Very Encouraging!
by: Don

The subconscious mind never ceases to amaze me - what a great metaphor of healing and the task ahead.

And that beautiful little girl never was ugly and disgusting: She just FELT that way by virtue of what someone else did to her! Now she has you to do whatever it takes helping her to find out who she really is. :)

Thanks for your courage and sharing. I have no doubt this will help someone else who reads it. (or already has helped someone else.)

Don

Oct 04, 2013
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Thanks Don!
by: Leandra

Don, your insight was very helpful in prioritizing my tasks. I can rest knowing that I don't have to solve it all at once. BTW, I have lucid dreams and recurring dreams which pick up where they left off from before. Recently I've had dreams about a little girl. One I had involved my adoptive father who was going to marry a younger woman and I said but then I won't be your daughter anymore. My bio dad & mom split when I was about 2 & I never saw him again. Last night I had one involving a couple having twins. One baby was born horribly disfigured, slimy skin, no hair, awkward eyes, really misshapen and ugly. I took the baby to hide it from the parents and as much as it disgusted me, I tried to love on the baby. I walked through the hospital hiding the child from onlookers and the more I loved on the child, it started to heal. By the end of the dream I had loved the child into a beautiful little girl with no deficits. I kept saying it was a miracle!

I don't know much about dream symbolism but these 2 dreams seem to speak to me about myself. So loving my inner child must be a good place to start...who knows what I will become!

Thanks again!

Oct 03, 2013
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A Purpose Side-Tracked
by: Don

Leandra,

I would like to address your issue: "...I think I lived my entire life trying to gain validation and acceptance from my mother and it never happened. Now that she's passed away, I have lost my purpose and can't find a new one."

It is my opinion you have a purpose and now it includes recovery from these emotional wounds inflicted on you early in life. It may not have been the purpose you were created for, but it is your FIRST purpose now.

The part of you that was wounded so long ago needs your time, attention, affection, and direction. It needs you to do what no one else has ever done for that part of you before.

I hear you saying you don't think you have the internal resources (energy, know how, etc) to get out of the house much anymore - so it may sound like a lot to ask for you to stand up for this wounded part of you.

It IS a lot to ask - but I see you doing it! You are here, you are reaching out, you are finding people like Donna who care and are trying to help. You are to be commended for your courage and effort in the face of this burden you have carried for so long. - It proves two things:

1. You are a survivor!
2. You CAN do it!

As you DO accomplish this recovery, you will become more and more able to help others who reach out here. And DOING THAT not only feels great, it help you heal even more! (I dare say it may even become a "purpose" - and what a special one it is!)

Now, how to proceed? I of course agree with Donna about a counselor - it is not a luxury but a necessity. When you find one make sure it is one who specializes in the issues you outlined.

In the meantime, there are other things you can do:

1. Use this and other forums to stay connected and keep reaching out.

2. Find a post or posts where you can contribute, even if only to say "I hear your pain, and I can relate. You are not alone and here is what I am doing."

3. Look in your local paper for community support groups you can attend - Codependents Anonymous, Adult Children of Alcoholics and Other Dysfunctional Families, Celebrate Recovery, church groups, etc.

4. ATTEND those groups weekly. Give each one of them a good chance - they say to go to 6 consecutive meetings before deciding about the group.

5. Best for last: Ask your Higher Power to lead, guide, and reveal the perfect plan to you one day at a time.

You will find your way and YOU CAN do this!

Many Blessings,
Don


Sep 28, 2013
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counselor
by: Donna

Hi Leandra,
My heart goes out to you. I do understand. You are at a tough place but you are also at a GOOD place b/c you realize you cannot go on without help. Actually, none of us can go on & grow without HELP!

We are programmed to grow & heal but not without God's direction & that direction includes others. Please look online, maybe psycologytoday.com has a counselor or therapist in your state/area that has a sliding scale or would be willing to reduce her rate. I called a counselor & her charge was $110 but I told her I could not afford that & she lowered it to $30.

Even though your mother is passed away, you can still make things all right but not alone...there are ways, exercises, time, processes that need to take place.

Thank God, you do not have to fix anyone. That is a blessing. We cannot even fix ourselves, but we can cooperate w/ God's direction, listening to a good counselor's input, etc. Do NOT give up w/ that all familiar feeling of DEFEAT when the answers may be right around the corner. Be willing to leave the old ways behind of trying to do things yourself & pursue finding a counselor. You can ask questions before you go to one. You can also tell the counselor you'd like to come one time to see how it works out b/c it's important for you to feel comfortable w/ that person. Once you find that right counselor & go weekly & learn to enjoy the answers & the calm that will come, you'll be on your way.

Each day take some time to take deep breaths even for minutes at a time...it helps to calm the brain. Walk when you can. Pray for yourself to know the Lord's direction w/ a counselor & I pray it will be soon. You could be on your way.

Sep 28, 2013
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Thanks Donna & Don
by: Leandra

I really appreciate your support. I am so worn down from trying to cope with everything that I have to handle. I DO need a therapist...I just have to find one. I can't handle anything anymore and sometimes wonder what the point is of trying. I have so much trouble getting out of the house. Sometimes I go days without food because I can't get to the store.

I'll look for a therapist and see what I can find.

Ya know, and this is probably something that you, Don, can address...I think I lived my entire life trying to gain validation and acceptance from my mother and it never happened. Now that she's passed away, I have lost my purpose and can't find a new one. There's no active chaos anymore like when we were always fighting and no husband to try to fix. How do I get used to the calm????

Sep 28, 2013
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Have hope
by: Donna

Hi Leandra,
I know what it feels like to feel as though it may never change & that is a devastating feeling. It feels like the end why one is still breathing & trying to survive. Just asking, are you in weekly counseling w/ someone you feel comfortable with? There are people who will reduce their rates or offer you a sliding scale. You have too many burdens to carry them all by yourself & you need a live person to listen to you & give you the input that will guide you. It is a good thing to read; I love to read, but one can be burned out on reading & if what you have been trying has not worked then it is time to move to the next level w/ one on one counseling. The process of being understood & accepted while you share your heart is what will be a healing for you as God gives you His strength. What do you think about this? I pray you will move forward with someone to help you & not try to do anything alone anymore.

Sep 27, 2013
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Homcoming
by: Don Carter

Hi All,

I applaud your courage too Leandra. And no...it never just ends - we need to be active in recovery for the pain to heal. As well do we feel better, stronger, happier and more committed than every to continue the journey.

I just finished creating something I call the Cafe' Cinema. I have one series of videos by John Bradshaw that you might find useful.

Cafe' Cinemas, Bradshaw Homecoming Videos

These Cafe' Cinemas are free and you can share them, post them on your site, or otherwise pass them around for others who happen to be on the mend from childhood abandonment issues and abuse.

Take Care,
Don

Sep 25, 2013
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Tom...
by: Leandra

Wow, Tom, you have asked some really eye opening questions. If everything were to stay the same as you said in your questions, I don't know if I could stand it. What keeps me crawling through life, now, is the hope that something will change with me or my life. With the struggles I have getting out of the house, I don't know right off what I could do to change anything and I'm not sure I could accept life as it is forever!

Thanks for giving me something to think about!
Leandra

Sep 25, 2013
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Brave
by: Tom

That's very brave of you to share that with all of us.

It sounds very painful indeed.

So...I don't know if this is a helpful question, but...how would you feel if nothing was ever going to change? What would you do if this was it...you're here just as you are until the end? Would you do anything differently?

I ask these questions because for me they actually help me relax, btw...

Jul 24, 2013
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I understand
by: Donna

Hi Leandra,
I am so sorry for all you've gone thru. I too have my struggles & my healings as well. This is a good site & Don is very helpful. I too have experienced the abuses that you have. I've read good books, had counseling for a short time in the 90's, was inpatient for 2 weeks in the 90's & then had no support or finances to continue w/ any counseling until 2001, again a few months of counseling but nothing indepth. Then in 2010-2011 my C-PTSD symptoms really got stirred up & I had to find a counselor & found the one I really wanted & have been making progress, albeit it's been very hard for me. Out of 4 children, I am close to my youngest son but the others are out of the picture for now, perhaps it's better that way.

I am working on leaving behind me the dysfunctions & bad habit patterns & reactions plus reading good books, the bible, prayer, watching others' stories on youtube, working on the deep down anger I wasn't allowed to express, etc.

I think there will always be a part of our lives that is aware of what we went thru & how we need to continue to get help which takes courage so that we can ffind our purpose in life someday. For me I would like to be an activist & advocate to make a difference & have compassion on the women who suffer & hopefully, prevent some child sexual abuse.

Take heart again & take it a step at a time & I hope you are getting some support & personal counseling. With time, support, counseling & working on things at your own pace, there is healing & things do get better along the way. The recovery is worth all the effort.
With compassion, Donna

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