Trigger While Pregnant ? Why have I regressed?

by L.H.

- I'm 32 and pregnant (1st child).
- I think I was abused as a child (emo & a little physical)
- As an adult, I thought I was strong, "over" my childhood.
- Since I became pregnant, an event occurred & I feel like when I was a child again; sad,abandoned,alone, betrayed, angry.
- Now I'm afraid if I don't "fix" myself fast, my child will suffer.

My dad was very controlling (emotionally abusive?): Mocked and dismissed feelings, refused to speak to you if he was mad at you, jerked us around physically, & when he was angry he punished "bad" behavior with with belts or switches (not too often). My mother did not protect us 4 girls & was too busy with other things. My Dad acts "spiritual" & "changed" now, but has never acknowledged & has no idea the damage he caused to me and my sisters. He acts kind of manic alot (un diagnosed bipolar?) & he and my mom are pretty wrapped up in themselves. So years ago I "accepted" that I never really had "parents".

I recently realized instead that I "replaced" my parents with my husband's parents since I was 22 (last 10 years). They loved me & I loved them, we four did everything together. Their own alcoholic daughter was always either mean-drunk or absent. I was scared to become a mother myself but knew my in-laws would be my "parents" when I got pregnant. But the day we announced our pregnancy, the alcoholic sister announced her pregnancy. My in-laws now provide for her financially & emotionally, she lives with them (as will the baby). The sister and my parents-in-law now shop together, vacation together, baby shower, etc.

I realize now my in-laws are not my parents & I feel so abandoned. I have no parents and feel so alone. They can be friends to me but I'm not their daughter. I feel so childish saying that, but I am so angry and sad, because it isn't fair, I WANT A MOTHER AND FATHER. I don't even want any attention from his parents now (sometimes they try), the pain is so deep. I realize now I am not over my childhood.

-Why do I feel betrayed by my in-laws? Why do I hate them for supporting their own daughter?
-If they buy something for their daughter's baby, and also for mine, why do I reject it?
- Why do I cry if I even hear about them? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

If I don't get it together, I know I will pass my dysfunction on to my precious daughter (to be).

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May 26, 2011
Rubberband Effect
by: Anonymous


I am sorry you are having to deal with this during your pregnancy...but alas, becoming a parent can trigger long-dormant unmet dependency needs. This is because the childhood "parts" of your personality (aka, ego-states) are reacting to what they see, hear, and feel during this time in your life.

Those parts of you carry lots of abandonment, shame and contempt (emotional wounds) and these wounds get "pricked" when you witness someone getting what you were supposed to get back then -- so it is like being "rubber-banded into the emotional pain of the past (Triggered).

Read the page on PATTERN MATCHING in order to learn more about being triggered. (Under the Mind-body-spirit section on the navigation panel to the left of this response.)

Also, having a baby is an intense and major life change. The neural networks in your brain have encoded everything you have ever taken in about parents and parenting... It's like this circuitry suddenly switches on and powers up.

Keep in mind that most of the parenting skills on this network are from the teaching (role modeling) of your don't be too surprised if you find yourself "becoming your mother/father". They either teach us how to parent -- or how NOT to parent.

It would be good for you to get into recovery and counseling now so that you don't pass on too much of your own woundedness to your new baby. If you do get help now, you will passing on "what to do" in order to heal from original pain. AND you will have stopped the cycle of the "inter-generational transfer" of abandonment, shame, and contempt.

Welcome to recovery and God Bless your family!
Don Carter

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