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Wed Apr 17, 2013, 11:31 PM

It really was that bad.

I'm 51 years old. I've been in various therapy groups and individual therapy. I don't do well in group therapy because of extreme shame issues. About eight months ago, after staying away from therapy, someone in that profession gave me a recommendation. I gave in and went to see her. It took months for me to really open up to her.

I spent most of those first months blowing smoke and minimizing my past experiences. I have been successful in my professional life and my kids are grown and are doing better than even I expected. I used those things as a symbol of my self-worth.

I spent all my adult years forcing the pain and trauma of my childhood into the back of my mind. I told myself that I had survived and I was whole because I was "normal" compared to others who had endured childhood abuse. But once my kids left home, I was left with an acute emptiness. And the void was filled with a depression that was nearly impossible to overcome. It left me with too much time on my hands, not knowing who I was beyond being a mother and a business professional.

I was lost. I started drinking too much, became a hermit and pushed away my friends.

So, I took this person's advice and reluctantly made the phone call to make an appointment. Over the past six weeks, I have felt extremely vulnerable. She has prodded me to focus on the parts of my life that I put in a box at the back of my mind. What is important to me and how the abuse affects my relationships today, particularly with my husband.

I spent all of my life trying to convince myself that what I experienced as a child "wasn't that bad." It was a coping mechanism. A way to live my life without reflecting or feeling. I was smart, successful and had built a comfortable life. I must be okay, right?

This past week, after months of slowly opening up and revealing the trauma that was my childhood which included sexual, physical, emotional and verbal abuse, I broke down and finally accepted that it was really that bad and that what happened during my childhood was really truly horrible.

I spent the next few days emotionally exhausted, sobbing; shedding many tears . Letting myself acknowledge that I grew up in the worst of circumstances was hard to accept. I don't remember crying that hard and feeling my heart want to burst by acknowledging the truth. Truth that I have avoided my entire life.

It really was that bad.

But now that I am beginning to admit it, I can understand how it has affected my life, even today.

I still have a long way to go. There are many trust issues that are rooted deeply because of those days. But after giving up the pretense of "It wasn't that bad," I feel, in a strange way, vindicated and free to accept what happened to me. Free to address how that trauma affects my life today and allows me to work to overcome the things that prevent me from having a fulfilled and happy life.

These past many months have been difficult beyond belief. But despite the desire to hide my past and my perceived flaws, I am beginning to think that I can go on and have a happy life. There is still much work to do. But, finally realizing and admitting that my childhood was really that bad and allows me to begin breaking down the walls that prevents me from truly living my life...in all aspects.

Thank you for reading this very long post. I appreciate it. Sorry about any typos. It's late and I was compelled to share this with folks that certainly understand while it was fresh on my mind.

Sof

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Reply It really was that bad. (Original post)
Sophiegirl Apr 2013 OP
elleng Apr 2013 #1
Sophiegirl Apr 2013 #2
olddots Apr 2013 #3
zanana1 May 2013 #4
Locut0s May 2013 #5

Response to Sophiegirl (Original post)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 11:37 PM

1. Thank you, Sof, welcome,

and we're glad you're here.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Wed Apr 17, 2013, 11:39 PM

2. Thank you. nt

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Response to Sophiegirl (Original post)

Thu Apr 18, 2013, 01:24 AM

3. thank you and your post wasn't long

 

I hope to finally unload a lot of stuff when I find a real therapist ----the work is hard but worth it.

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Response to Sophiegirl (Original post)

Mon May 20, 2013, 08:31 PM

4. It's great that you were able to open up.

I think alot of therapy is wasted because we're hiding something. We think it's easier just to keep it to ourselves and sometimes blame ourselves for what happened to us. It doesn't make sense. I've been a depressive all my life and that doesn't make sense, either. I was in therapy for years when I finally admitted some things about myself that I was ashamed of. I think you'll find that life gets better and better for you as time goes on. God bless.

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Response to Sophiegirl (Original post)

Wed May 22, 2013, 06:09 PM

5. Great post Sof, it wasn't too long at all...

I'm sorry to hear you had such a painful past but it's good to hear you are finally starting to heal. In some ways I'm almost envious of those who have managed to make such breakthroughs. I have no traumatic past that I can point to as being a catalyst for my emotional problems. It seems mine are more subtle. I probably never quite matured correctly due to the way I have been raised but not due to any form of abuse. It makes it difficult to deal with your emotional problems when you can't point to some event or series of events as being seminal. I'm not downplaying what you experienced in any way shape or form, just trying to relate.

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