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Steps 1-7
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Joined: 20 Mar 2009
Posts: 819

PostPosted: Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:15 am    Post subject: Long time listener - not quite first time caller

Its been a while since I've been online...years in fact. This site was a turning point for me, and I've always held the highest regards for everyone I met here. The information in the materials I read and the support I received were invaluable. I miss posting here. I miss the friends I made here (Emms - if you're still around - Pandalynn you too). Its important to think of recovery on a continuum - you can remember a portion of your childhood, mourn it, work towards recovery - while not remembering another. I think the important take aways from that is that for every little step towards recovery you lessen the affects the trauma has/had/will have on your life.

Its important to remember the relationships for what they were - and not what you wanted/wished they had been. We all struggle against a certain standard/stigma - you're supposed to love and trust your parents/family/siblings/etc - and the expectation in society today is that this love is reciprocated. Unfortunately for a great many of us that was not the case. More unfortunate still is that we, having already survived far worse at their hands, also feel guilt for that very same fact. It keeps many of us in touch with the people that we are simply far better off without.

Since I started here... ah... god 8 years ago now? Has it been that long? Holy cow time flies... anyways - since I've started here my life has taken a complete 180. It was neither fast, nor easy. The hardest part, and most important part, was realizing where I was fucking up in my life - because of what had happened to me, because of my inability to cope with it, and my reluctance to see it for what it was. The unhealthy relationships I accepted as normal or "not that bad" because they paled in comparison did me a lot of unnecessary harm. Realizing that even tho they indeed were "not that bad" ...didn't make them good. And in taking steps to distance myself from those relationships, I got to experience how very bad they actually were. How I had surrounded myself with toxic people. One person in particular it took several additional abuse/criminal stalking/family violence charges to completely disengage from. It hurt me to realize that I was making some of the same mistakes that I had grown up witnessing. What drove me to stick with it was the absolute need to make sure my kids didn't end up with the same (or even anything close to) the childhood I had. It gave me strength when I rightfully should have had none left. Over the years I've changed my entire life. Its still hard - I still struggle to remember some things, some things I've plain given up on remembering because its caused me more harm than good. Others I can't help but remember -often at the most inconvenient times. Its a disassociative toss up it seems... I remember a lot more than most (my siblings) - and I feel good about this only insomuch that I am able to recognize the patterns of behaviors in others now. The warning signs are clear to me now. (it took a bit of brow beating first tho.... cos... youthful ignorance and stupidity).

I'm posting this here because what brought me back was an memory of my mother leaving me in California with strangers while she ran off with her boyfriend and...the other members ...of their cult. Its still hard for me to write that...cult. Anyways I'd forgotten for years that it had even happened. It was a relatively calm time for me to be honest...i remember when she came back to get me I'd tried to convince her to not go back to live with her psycho boyfriend and all the other people but to no avail. I was surprised at how angry the memory made me. Now that I'm a mother - I can't imagine just leaving my kids for months with someone I barely knew. I can't imagine how or why she was okay with it. And like I said, for once, nothing bad really happened. The lady I was with was nice, relatively wasn't that anything bad happened during that time, it was the feelings of abandonment that struck me hard when I remembered it. Abandonment and anger. I have very limited contact with my mother - we live far away - i see here once every 5 years or so... talk to her once a month on the phone maybe.... I focus on taking care of me and my kids now and I guess the distance that I've put between us made me feel surprised that I cared about the distance she put between us all those years ago when I was a child.

I still to this day struggle with self image, harmful thinking, Anxiety - i have severe issues with forming meaningful relationships... compounded by my last damaged relationship.. i keep to myself. My isolation is fairly high - and admittedly this doesn't help with depression. I still have a great many things to work on. But I hope that someone who needs to read this gets the chance to. There is hope - the days will vary - the struggle is great - but the pay off is worth it. You all deserve to be happy - we all deserve it. We deserved it back in our childhoods - and we especially deserve it now that we've made it this far.
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