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Old 07-16-2018, 01:58 PM   #1
growthmindset1
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Trig Childhood emotional neglect and abuse

Hi, I am Sara.

I wasn't sure where to post this. I just made an account to share my story to get some help. I really struggle with letting any guy into my life (on an intimate level). I fear and hate them in the same time. Although I have some male friends and I know they are good. For me to get into a relationship with one is a completely different story.
My mom definitely experienced CEN herself. She has zero emotional intelligence. She is very weak, emotionally, and does not handle stress well. I tried to tell her how what she did affected me and she would cry or get upset. I was molested by two different men when between the ages 4-5 and I never got any emotional support even when she knew. I did not tell her about the second abuser because I knew it wouldn't matter (yes at age 5). I remember myself being mature since then, relying on myself, and people would always point out how strong and mature I was for my age... giving people advice when I was just a kid. I remember giving hugs to my mom to make her feel good and not because I was the one that needed them. I was starved from having emotional support. My dad was just absent and emotionally, mentally and physically abusive and I just checked out with him to be honest. Today I am 24 years old and I have a palpable fear of men. My brother molested me and made me do things... I don't blame him because he was young, and he was raped when he was younger. My older sister has borderline personality disorder and she makes zero effort to change her life. We're 5 kids and they're all quite messed up. I am just tired of holding everyone together... being the rock... referring them to counselors. I am happy that they are somewhat okay, but they're not there for me. Girls admire that I don't have much interest in guys thinking I have it all figured out and admire my physical appearance, but are oblivious to the simple thought of being with a man terrifies me. Even though I know that I am attracted to men, I have this mistrust and I just see them as pathetic. I know it is illogical, and I have been working with a trauma counselor that does EMDR but honestly I don't see much change in that department. It is like my brain is stuck and will not yield.

I always seem to be attracted to older females that are attentive and strong and I cling on to them. Characteristics which my mother did not have. I just obsess over having their attention. How do I handle this? I am not even gay... I just hate that I am always looking for that next female for support. As soon as I sense weakness from a girl, I don't want to be friends with her anymore. I read on another comments section MANY women struggle with this: mothers that emotionally neglect them.

The funny thing is I read A LOT and I am very proactive in trying to heal. I love helping others but it is so difficult to help myself. Trust me I try. Any feedback will be appreciated. Although I am 24, I feel as though I am a 100 years old waiting to take my last breath. Self compassion is not that easy but I try to tap myself on the back so to speak when I do something to be proud about... Although I am grateful for many things, and I have a positive mindset, often times hatred of others overwhelms me.

Peace

Last edited by CANDC; 07-16-2018 at 08:17 PM.. Reason: Trigger icon
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Old 07-17-2018, 01:37 PM   #2
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Smile Re: Childhood emotional neglect and abuse

Hello growthmindset: I believe this is your introductory post here on PC. So... welcome to PsychCentral. I hope you find PC to be of benefit.

Another forum, here on PC, that may be of interest to you would be the women-focused support forum. Here's a link:

https://forums.psychcentral.com/women-focused-support/

I know you wrote that you read a lot. So additional reading may not be something that will be of much interest. However here are links to 3 articles, from PsychCentral's archives, on the subject of mother / daughter relationships:

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/knott...-estrangement/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/knott...ve-looks-like/

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/knott...-and-intimacy/

My best wishes to you...
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"Nobody Knows the Trouble I've Been" (Spider John Koerner)
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Old 07-17-2018, 02:06 PM   #3
growthmindset1
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Default Re: Childhood emotional neglect and abuse

Hey,

Thank you so much! I definitely don't know everything and I just learned a great deal from reading those 3 articles. Huge eye opener. So thank you again for taking the time to send them to me! Very kind of you!

Sara
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Old 07-19-2018, 09:37 PM   #4
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((growthmindset1))),

First I would like to say welcome to Psych Central and you are welcome to vent and share as needed here in the forums. You did a good job venting in your thread so far, being able to write things out is very helpful in that first you are not "just" holding all of this in and second you are actually identifying the areas you are challenged and even why that is so, which I don't think you actually fully realize yet.

It's understandable that you struggle when it comes to even thinking about having a relationship with a man, with what you described of your experience with so many males was that you were abused and you were much too young to have any real idea how to defend yourself. Also, your mother was no true source of protection either as she herself struggled and you ended up comforting her when you were the one that needed to experience that.

What you learned to do growing up is not to trust males and because you knew what it was like first hand to be afraid, you ended up in more of a caregiver role for others, even when you did not have enough actual life experiences where you developed a maturity that is based on "safe" knowledge instead of knowledge gained through never really feeling safe.

It's understandable that you look for female mentors where you can observe "mature" strength and how you can get disappointed or perhaps triggered or turned off when you think you have found a strong independent female mentor that is not 100%. Truth is NO ONE is ever truly 100%, everyone has their weaknesses and uncertainties and fears.

It's also understandable that you prefer strong female mentors too, after all my guess is you were not really victimized or abused by females, you were let down by your stressed weak mother, but that isn't actual abuse. Liking strong females to mentor doesn't mean you are gay either, you just want a presence that can show you mature strength which was something your mother NEVER really showed you which contributed to your inability to gain a true sense of personal safety.

You are still young yet and you will have a lot to learn yet. It's good that you make it a point to read and it's ok to watch how strong independent women handle different challenges too. It would be helpful for you if you found a female therapist that you can talk to that can guide you on a healing journey and help you learn to develop your sense of self esteem where you gradually can self protect better and gain your sense of safety.
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Old 08-10-2018, 12:35 AM   #5
growthmindset1
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Heart Re: Childhood emotional neglect and abuse

First of all, wow. You have an amazing ability with deep listening, thank you for hearing me and understanding. I feel heard, affirmed and validated.

Truthfully it is very new for me to vent and express myself mostly negatively. For a long time I ignored the bad and focused on the positive. Doing that wasn't helpful because I did not acknowledge the pain. Having had that time to do so and shed light for the last month or two... I feel that I am ready to let it go. I have learned a lot recently.

1) Blaming my parents does not do any good, and blaming myself will not renounce the fact that my parents did play a part by neglecting me. Instead, I understand that I am an adult. I am accountable and responsible for making changes in MY life.

2) Every stage is important... for example throwing a tantrum is actually healthy.. communicating healthily is probably better haha but also going over the things you might never had the chance as a kid helps you move on. We all need to start valuing our emotions and knowing we matter, and how we feel matters.

3) My mom and dad are actual people. They probably faced breakups, cheated on exams, found themselves in the principal's office, had drama with their friends, felt abandoned, sad, frustrated, angry, disappointment and all range of emotions I face. To top it all off like many other couples, had kids when they were not emotionally, and mentally ready. This is important for me to see because I want them to be the perfect parents I never had... self aware, healthy mature adults, emotionally attuned, present, loving, empathetic, encouraging and loving. But that will not happen because they are just flawed human beings like many. I am still struggling with accepting this matter, but accepting it and forgiving them will enable me to let the resentment go.

4) I am very grateful for the person I turned out to be. I learned from their mistakes. And just like Tony Robbins said, if you're going to blame them for all the bad, you must blame them for all the good as well.

Being human is funny. I am sure many people are not willing to let go of the great things they've learned from being in tough situations, yet we are so ungrateful for almost everything and want to play victim. Inner struggle is the best thing for us as many researchers and scholars say. I focus on growing everyday. And I am learning to not be hard on myself. I am human after all.

Everything you said really touched me and I still read it again, and again. May God shower His blessings and mercy on you, and be with you every step of the way.

Thank you with all my heart,

Sara


Quote:
Originally Posted by Open Eyes View Post
((growthmindset1))),

First I would like to say welcome to Psych Central and you are welcome to vent and share as needed here in the forums. You did a good job venting in your thread so far, being able to write things out is very helpful in that first you are not "just" holding all of this in and second you are actually identifying the areas you are challenged and even why that is so, which I don't think you actually fully realize yet.

It's understandable that you struggle when it comes to even thinking about having a relationship with a man, with what you described of your experience with so many males was that you were abused and you were much too young to have any real idea how to defend yourself. Also, your mother was no true source of protection either as she herself struggled and you ended up comforting her when you were the one that needed to experience that.

What you learned to do growing up is not to trust males and because you knew what it was like first hand to be afraid, you ended up in more of a caregiver role for others, even when you did not have enough actual life experiences where you developed a maturity that is based on "safe" knowledge instead of knowledge gained through never really feeling safe.

It's understandable that you look for female mentors where you can observe "mature" strength and how you can get disappointed or perhaps triggered or turned off when you think you have found a strong independent female mentor that is not 100%. Truth is NO ONE is ever truly 100%, everyone has their weaknesses and uncertainties and fears.

It's also understandable that you prefer strong female mentors too, after all my guess is you were not really victimized or abused by females, you were let down by your stressed weak mother, but that isn't actual abuse. Liking strong females to mentor doesn't mean you are gay either, you just want a presence that can show you mature strength which was something your mother NEVER really showed you which contributed to your inability to gain a true sense of personal safety.

You are still young yet and you will have a lot to learn yet. It's good that you make it a point to read and it's ok to watch how strong independent women handle different challenges too. It would be helpful for you if you found a female therapist that you can talk to that can guide you on a healing journey and help you learn to develop your sense of self esteem where you gradually can self protect better and gain your sense of safety.
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