Someone knows without me having ever told them

The Iceberg is the best explanation of what happens to an abused child that I have ever came across on the internet.

It is from this that I am learning that I am considered a "severe" case. It is from this I'm learning the names for things I have always felt but never been able to express either out of lack of words or out of the fear that I'm crazy.

I experience things like the inner critic barraging me with insults. It's like a voice in my head, it sounds like my voice, but at the same time it's not me, and sometimes it will let a whole river of put downs go until I'm in tears and even then it will keep on tormenting me and I will try to argue back but it's impossible to defend myself against that many attacks at once.

I thought that was weird and it meant I was loopy. I thought my childhood worship of my mother was weird and it meant I was loopy. I thought my inability to get over things in the past was weird... I thought that "just getting over it and moving on" was the way to health when it turns out that it was the sure fire way to make the problem worse by burying it... and now I barely remember anything from my childhood that traumatized me so I have a bunch of defense mechanisms set to go off on random things and I don't even remember what those defense mechanisms were put there in the first place for!

The biggest shock of all is that someone knows more than me about what happened to me. I've grown so accustomed to trying to figure myself out and heal myself because no one else, NO ONE, has a clue as to what I've been through. Who ever wrote this does, though, and I applaud them for writing it.

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Nov 08, 2009
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Yes, I am trying
by: Anonymous

I haven't been able to find one in my area so far but I will keep on looking. Until then I have found an online support group that meets in a chat room once a week.

I have the 7 aspects of recovery printed and posted in a place where I can see them (socialize, self-disclosure, system sensitivity, self-talk, self-love, surfacing the pain, and spirituality). Some of them I don't feel quite ready to tackle head on yet (like spirituality) but I am pretty sure once I start tackling others they will become easier to face.

I have been reading a lot more on the site as well... it's comforting to have this all explained to me. I've been through a lot of counseling but none of it has ever really went this deep. Counselors toss around words like "parentified child syndrome" and never really explain them in depth.

I'm checking out the handbook link you sent me.

As for self injury...

I was given the tools to cope with the urges. Over time though my self-critic has gradually eroded a lot of the points I used to talk myself out of self-destruct mode. When I started searching on the internet again for answers, it was because of this among other things. I have been through this cycle enough times to know that the suicidal tendencies are a big fat screaming sign that I need to do something to turn things around quickly because I am most definitely not psychologically well.

I also know that when the self-talk fails to hang on to the core will-to-live that makes any form of suicidal behavior extremely difficult to carry out. I know and hold on to the fact that I don't really want to die. And if it really comes down to it, an unusual coping mechanism I have developed is the determination not to attempt any self-harm before calling a hotline. It's a dirty trick by taking advantage of my own abandonment issues in a way but it works. I won't call the hotline because I'm so scared the person on the line won't care or will think I'm stupid or any other number of negative things.

I won't dare try to hurt myself though because then I'll never know what could have happened if I called the hotline. The phone sitting there with the number pre-programmed in to it somehow comforts me and makes me feel more optimistic.

I am hoping eventually I will get to the point where when/if I feel like that I pick up the phone and call and tell the person on the other end how I'm feeling. Until then, just challenging myself to do it alone somehow helps. I guess it's a visual reminder that I am not really out of options just yet.

Nov 06, 2009
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You are on the right track!
by: Don Carter

I am happy that you relate to my way of explaining childhood abandonment. Especially since you are actually getting the right message -- You are NOT "loopy"!

As a child you had no choice but to idealize your mother...even if she was your abuser. That Inner Critic is the voice of shame.

I hope you have support. Do you live in a place where there is an Adult/Child of Alcoholics (ACA) or Adult Child of Dysfunctional Families (ACDF) meeting? It would be great for you to go there and attend at least six meetings in a row.

Also, the ACA Book (found at -- http://www.adultchildren.org/lit/Handbook.s) is ESSENTIAL in really getting into recovery from these issues.

And finally, safety is a major concern when you are first coming to grips with these issues... do you know what to do or where to go if you don't feel safe -- like if you start feeling like hurting yourself, do you know what to do?

You have found a home here. Keep coming back. We care!

Don


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