I suffered family abuse for years which kept me both mental and physically ill.I have escape my abusers’ clutches.My issues now are how to move on from the pain of it all and allow myself to be emotionally available to friends and partners.My family had an unspoken rule that I was not allowed to become emotionally involved outside the family.I want to but am frightened of attracting other abusers,also do I risk merging my finances with someone who may turn round and take advantage.It feels scary to let someone in?Any advice or do I continue to play it safe and shut everyone else out?
just be cautious and you should be o k? or do you trust your judgement?
My family had a rule that you never go camping alone, you know… bears. I’ve gone many times and have never come across a bear.
Take your time getting to know people. You don’t have to let anyone in right away without knowing if they are trustworthy. And even if you do get involved with someone, as a friend or romantically, you don’t ever have to merge finances with them. You can even get married, with a prenup, and never merge finances with your spouse. So take things slow, one thing at a time.
Thank you sacred for your reply.It made me feel more secure to know I never need to merge finances,and of course I can take things slowly.I’ve been ill a lot and a loner most of my life.I feel sad and think I have missed out on the experiences of having close friendships and lovers.I keep thinking maybe it is too late then maybe there is a chance I might meet someone.My family always non verbally gave the impression no one would ever be interested in me cos due to illness I was seen as a burden and not a good catch,they always said who would want you and you can’t give someone children and you can’t maintain a household, you can’t hardly look after yourself.And all that time although I was ill I was running round after my family.
So I can’t be angry anymore about that and I think maybe I need to take the initiative and make the effort if I want to meet someone but I have to get over my feelings of inadequacy and my emotional insecurity.Am I also up to it healthwise both physically and mentally or are my family right after all?
Yeah, but I assume you are an adult. And you can now make your own rules. Not everybody is an abuser or a bad person. I guess your situation might have skewed your view of people. But not everybody is like your family. You probably love them which is OK, but there’s people out there who treat people with respect and dignity and they will give you a chance.
Just stay clear of the abusers.
i am doing cbt therapy…for abuse and everything else …i highly recommend it.
I’m very sorry to hear of your trouble…to understand, how does one establish an unspoken rule of no emotional involvement with someone outside of the family?..I’m guessing could that have just been in your mind?
Well initially whenever I was seen with friends or strangers whom I might get close to a great deal of fuss would be made usually by my mother about how they weren’t good enough to be friends with,how they were after my money,how they were what my mum called,‘rubbish’, and how I was not to hang out with them.After many years disapproval would manifest from both mum and my sister whenever I met new people and tried to get relationships going.In the end I gave up and avoided people whom I might get involved with.Whilst I agree much of the effort needed to forbid emotional involvement must have been in my mind, if I had disobeyed then they couldn’t have done anything about it.Unfortunately I must have been weak and needed approval of my family because I complied with their wishes and now I fear strangers and am unable to trust them.My family I have cut off my sister but still see my mum but she is very bossy and controlling!Yet still I can control and direct my own life now.It seems they worked as a team and the brainwashing they had me under as a pair,mum and sister,seems to have broken down and have less impact now I have cut my narcissistic sister out of my life who incidentally tried on two occasions to drive me to suicide.
Wow that is quite a story. It is a real disgrace what some people do to their family members. But I am glad you eventually got your freedom and are now independent enough in mind and spirit to make your own decisions. It sounds like you have everything you need to try and find happiness for yourself.
First thing, I’d be careful seeking out potential partners. Often patterns of abuse perpetuate themselves by people finding one abuser to stand in for another. So be wary of that. Maybe find a counsellor or a therapist you can discuss these things with, it helps to have an independent point of view to consult. Not entangling your finances until you’re really really sure seems like a good move as well.
Second I would lose no time trying to find some close friends you can share these things with. If you’ve been unlucky with family, maybe you can find some friends you can let into your heart even before you find a lover. Do some courses, go wild, be free!
I read all what you had to say so far but I don’t see where you mention what you have you been diagnosed with. Your family sounds more like the ones who need help not just you.
Thanks Kerome.Hello tobornottob.
I actually was emotionally distressed at unversity due to lack of support from my family and no friends,havng noone to turn to I used cannabis and was hearing voices and hallucinating,I was admitted to a mental health unit with the diagnosis,drug induced psychosis.Then they said schizophrenia after I moved back to my home town,the psychiatrist said that after a five minute consultation.I continued to live at home and suffer abuse from family,they had me is hospital after being on a drug gave me akathisia and were able to observe me during psychosis and they then said my diagnosis is schizoaffective disorder,depressive type,which I agree with.I had been very unhappy since age 16 when my father died and my mum and sister bullied me into working in the family shop,my life was not my own and they were controlling and emotionally abusive.I think my sister has narcissistic personality disorder,but she doesn’t break down or anything she just makes other people ill.I have had ECT for suicidal depression.I am stable now and as I said I cut my sister out of my life last October when it became clear she wanted me dead and was undermining my health with the intent to bring about my death!
Life is hard enough to have to go it alone without close friends. I mostly have family who knew me well before I was diagnosed as being SZ.-affective. It seems like you need your own space apart from family while still working together at your dads shop. What kind of shop do you all own anyway, if you don’t mind me asking. I don’t mean to pry, just curious is all. I have been told that I sometimes ask too many personal questions of strangers by my family.
No my dad died, the family shop was 26 years ago!I have my own space now, I live alone and I have no close friends,just one or two I can pass the time with but not close.I am mostly alone.I’d rather not go into details,if you don’t mind about the past.
I’m sorry Marylin1, I sometimes talk too much.
What I first wanted to say was that to go on with a more normal life we usually have to bring along our damaged selves as well and that can be a real burden, but our lives must go on to become stronger in a way that can help that part of us that was hurt or damaged earlier, but is still a part of who and what we are.
It is ok tobornottob,I appreciate your feedback.I agree we have to make ourselves whole and better in the future, stronger even though we carry the damaged parts of us from the past with us.For me that means being as physically strong as I can be and do my own physical chores,like the gardening and DIY.My narc sister made me lack confidence and when I was ill I couldn’t do these things,I was frightened I’d be overgrown in the garden and that things needed doing in the house wouldn’t get done and narc sister played on this made me lack confidence and taught me to depend on her and be helpless.I am learning to cope physically with the demands of this.I have a handyman I pay,like my sister sabotaged my toilet,making the cistern leak, and she said the whole cistern and toilet needed changing,and she would do it but never did.I was flushing with a bucket for months.She made it leak.After i cut her out of my life I found a handyman to pay and he fixed it with a new part.If I can carry on doing my own gardening and learn to decorate and paint indoors I would feel I was getting stronger for the future and going on to better than before!