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Need advice on abandoned and [Slightly] abused past?

 
 
Reply Sat 20 Apr, 2013 02:40 am
I’ve had all these things said to me recently.

“You don’t show your emotions.” “You’re a suffer in silence type, huh?” “You always let me make all the decisions.”

These words, all said by different people, made me question myself. Like, am I really okay? Am I normal?

I’ve read some articles lately on the human psyche and was startled at how some of the behaviors fit me. There are some of the traits I’ve gathered about myself.

I don’t like to be late. I leave for school forty minutes early. I can’t stand the thought of being late for some reason. I’m not really sure why this is, but if I’m late to anything I go ballistic.

I let others make decisions. If we work on projects together, if my friends want to do something their way, I let them.

I’m stubborn. If there’s something I really don’t want to do, I won’t.

I’m extremely shy. As if, I don’t like to go up to check out my merchandise at the store. When I was young, I would intentionally try to get myself sick so I wouldn’t have to say a report in school the next day. I get anxiety whenever I have to speak up or out loud in front of people or doing anything I’m not used to or prepared to do.

Here’s my story. I’m 18 years old and going off to college in the fall. I’m not really sure about how I’m going to handle things in the “real world."

My mother had me at 18 years with a guy who was 7 years older. I was adopted by my grandparents and live with them. My mother would usually see me on the weekends and we would go to her apartment where she lived with my father.

First off, my parents never got married. My father isn't the fatherly type. He is an 80's guy with long hair and leather jackets, bikes and cars. The only time we really bonded was with video games and even when we did get along we didn’t talk much.

My mother is a girly rocker. I find that she can be very funny and kind, especially after seeing her work at the animal hospital, but there are times where she scares me. When I was younger and did something "bad", she would hit me. Sometimes it was a spanking with her hand, slapping me with a shoe. The worst is when she took one of my father’s leather belts and spanked me.

I remember after she hit me she’d usually apologize, holding me and saying things like, “You know that makes me angry.” She’d say that a lot and I’d cry and we’d make up after that. But obviously, I’m not a child anymore. Now, she doesn’t hold me and I don’t cry. She’s still determined to stay above me though. Once, she told me, “Just because you’re bigger than me doesn’t mean I can’t hurt you.”

To this day she still threatens me, but she hasn’t “hit” me in a long time. I’ve gotten used to keeping my mouth shut and learning when not to talk.

She’s never hit me hard enough to cause any physical damage so I’m at a standstill. I don’t know the difference between abuse and discipline. I’m assuming it depends on the situation, but personally I don’t ever want to hurt my children because I don’t want them to feel the same fear and vulnerability I do toward my mother. I haven’t told her about these feelings either. I don’t share a lot of feelings with her.

When I was 12, I was at the apartment with my parents when I heard the fight. My mother was talking about a letter, claiming it was from “her.” My father denied it. I could tell it got physical after that because there was grunting and fabric rustling. Then my father came out to the living room as my mom stumbled. He screamed, “C’mon, let show [SilentlyFading].”

The next thing I remember was my mom packing her clothes in bags. She left him and moved back with my grandparents and me.

I didn’t see my father for 3 years. I had expected him on my birthday. I mean, I was still his daughter. He didn’t break up with me, but he never showed. And suddenly after the 3 years of convincing myself he doesn’t care, he comes back. Only he’s not here for me. He’s here for my mother.

That hurt me even more. Whenever I see him now, I don’t talk to him and he doesn’t talk to me. I’ve told myself if he doesn’t need me in his life, then I don’t need him. I’ve never been daddy’s girl. He’s never even said I love you before. Never showed any real interest in me and I think that’s the reason I don’t have any guy friends. When I’m around boys, I’m uncomfortable.

The pathetic part is that I really want a boyfriend. I know my obsession with romances and writing romantic novels has to do with the fact that I don’t understand that kind of love. Honestly, I’d be content with anyone as long as they loved me for me and I’m afraid they will find out what I’m really like and leave me. I feel this puts me in a very dangerous and vulnerable situation. I cry sometimes, hoping one day someone will be there to care about me. I hate feeling alone. I’m always alone. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced.

My mother gets mad over little things. She had to move into my room when she left my dad and it was never messy before she moved in. Now clothes pile the floor and she gets angry that I don’t clean, like it’s all my fault. Sometimes when she’s mad at me she refuses to drive me to school.

When she gets mad she screams or looks as if she’s going to hit me. I tend to get quiet and sit there. I hate crying in front of her and I think that’s why I have problems crying in front of others. I can’t stand looking weak and vulnerable so I go into the bathroom and cry in private.

One time she was angry about something else and was stepping over the clothes on our floor in the room. She said, “I hope I step on something important to you, and it breaks.”

Constantly, my mother smokes in the car when I’m there and even though it annoys me and I’ve told her this, she just tells me to open the window and smokes anyway.

I also learned that I have a nervous habit. I bite and pick at the skin on my fingers until they bleed. I’ve heard stress and anxiety are triggers.

I have morals. I refuse to be a teen mom like my mother. When my friends offer me alcohol, I decline. I hate the smell of cigarettes. I don’t ever want to take any drugs.

Everyone says that I’m innocent, but things scare me. Like if I get drunk, I’d let all these emotions go. I’m afraid I’d say something bad or weird to my friends and they’d leave me.

I’m honestly an emotional wreck but I don’t let anyone see this. My family doesn’t even know how messed up I am and I don’t want them to.

Can someone help explain my problems and how to fix them?
 
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Apr, 2013 06:35 am
There's nothing "wrong" with you - you seem to have responded appropriately to the environment in which you were raised.

You seem to have a good understanding about what is going on with yourself and the people who have been around you.

Don't apologize for anything or how you feel.

There are 1,000 of kids who feel the same as you do. Just find them and become friends.

Good luck!!
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Lustig Andrei
 
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Reply Sat 20 Apr, 2013 06:41 pm
You sound like a super-normal well-adjusted young person to me also. There is nothing whatever strange about wanting to be everywhere on time. It shows a sense of responsibility. Nor is there anything unusual in letting team-mates make the decisions rather than insisting that your way is the way to go. People who insist on having things done their way tend to be selfish, self-centered egotists.

(I would suggest, however, that there's no need to go ballistic, as you put it, if you happen to get somewhere unavoidably late. As long as the delay was unavoidable and not deliberate, all you need do is apologize for being late and then forget it.)
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PUNKEY
 
  4  
Reply Mon 22 Apr, 2013 06:59 am
Being on time is a good quality.

If it becomes a compulsion or causes you anxiety, then talk to someone about it.

I also was raised by alcoholics. It is important that not only I be on time, but sometimes several minutes early. I have decided that it comes from a need to be in control - of settling myself in the new environment and being "ready." As I am older now, I can let that go and just go with the flow.

PS - you are not "slightly" abused. If you need to, attend Adult Children of Alcoholics groups. That helped me immensely to get an accurate vision of what went in my life to shape me as an adult.
Lustig Andrei
 
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Reply Mon 22 Apr, 2013 02:51 pm
@PUNKEY,
PUNKEY wrote:
If you need to, attend Adult Children of Alcoholics groups. That helped me immensely to get an accurate vision of what went in my life to shape me as an adult.


That's excellent advice, P.
ossobuco
 
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Reply Mon 22 Apr, 2013 03:02 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Also agreeing, good post, Punkey.
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needtoknow175
 
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Reply Mon 22 Apr, 2013 05:11 pm
@SilentlyFading,
Hi let me start off by saying I'm not a professional, but in my opinion you might have a social anxiety problem and perhaps a little bit obsessive with being on time . Contrary to what others have said I don't think its normal to "make yourself sick" to avoid a school presentation, or going ballistic if you are late. I think you always agree with people because of what you said later the fear of having your friends leave if you "say the wrong thing ." If its available to you it would be great if you could go to therapy.
I think it is great that you are going away to college it might help you to be away from your home situation. A lot of times depending on where you go the universities have health center and group/ individual therapy sessions that are free for current students, maybe you can give that a try.
I also think its great that you avoid alcohol and cigarettes please don't let others convince you to do something you don't want to do, let them think you are innocent you are actually not! You, unlike many of them have seen first hand what alcohol can turn people into and its your choice to not consume it. Also rememebr that nicotine, alcohol and drugs are ways that many people with emotional problems use to self medicate, so don't be one one of them.

I wish you the best of luck and hope that you resolve your problems, but also remember at your age a lot of people are "emotional wrecks" so don't be too hard on yourself.
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