Insecurities

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Insecurities

Postby Tarantula » Sun Sep 27, 2009 12:47 pm

For those of you who don't know, I'm 18, and was sexually abused by my Father up until the age of 15 (started around 4 or 5 or 6 I think). He's now out of the picture (went through the legal procedure, he went to prison briefly), and I rent a flat with my older Brother - the only member of my family who I'm close to. My Mum has always lived and worked 100 miles away from me, used to visit on the weekends when I was young, and has always made me feel abandoned and unwanted by her absence.

I've put the past behind me for the most part - as well as anybody can be expected to - but sometimes it still gets to me, and I catch myself out having thoughts and feelings about myself that are clearly a symptom of the past - such as feeling automatically inferior to every other girl my age, like I think they're all prettier than me, all worthier, all 'better' - 'cos they weren't messed about like I was. I feel dirty/impure/damaged.

And the girls in my class, seem much more happier than me, just innately - the other day, one of them was complaining loudly about how unfair it was that her mum wanted her to tidy her own room, and I thought to myself 'gee, is that the worst of your problems? I wish I was you.' Sometimes I really feel like I'm carrying the world on my shoulders, 'cos whilst my mum deals with everything financial from afar (wires money into my account every week), I have to do everything else for myself. I tidy my room. I do all my washing/cooking/cleaning. I have to make sure I don't overspend my weekly allowance, or rent doesn't go through, and I'm in the poo. There is no parental guidance whatsoever. I've been living like this since 15/16 - ie, since my father was expelled from my life. Oh, and there was an estranged second older brother somewhere along the lines, too, who was the reason why I left my 'family' home and went into rented accommodation.

I just feel like no teenager should have to go through what I have, and yes, right at this moment, I AM having a self pity moment. I don't do it much, at all. But now I am. No idea what's brought it on today. I suppose I was tidying my room just now, and found that the main bin in the kitchen is overflowing 'cos my brother hasn't changed it, we're out of binbags, we ran out of electricity this morning so I had to dash to the off liscense to put money on the meter before all our fridge food went bad... I'm thoroughly de-motivated. I bet none of my classmates have to worry about any of that sort of thing, whilst fighting off horrible memories too. I'm constantly trying to go against the flow; it would be so easy for me to just slip down some spiral that's been pre-determined by my past - I could go into drugs, get pregnant on a one night stand, end up on the streets and, given my past, no one could really be all that surprised. But of course that'll never happen. It's just hard sometimes, to keep striving to be something better than my parents, and not repeat their mistakes to any extent.

And relationships? You know what I'm like there, I've been writing about them for three years on here. I feel constantly threatened by other girls, because I feel they're all so much better than me. I worry that one day my boyfriend will realise that too. I mean, he's a black belt, and just yesterday he mentioned in conversation that one of the girls in the year below us is also a blackbelt, and IMMEDIATELY I felt a wave of worry of 'oh no, she must be better than me!!' It's ridiculous. I of course, didn't mention this to my boyfriend. Because I know it's unreasonable. But it IS how I feel. I feel like he's just gonna go off me and get interested in other, 'purer' girls. And he's by far the best boyfriend I've ever had, which makes me all the more scared of losing him. Which makes me dependent and a little bit clingy from time to time.

When I talk about my past, I feel like I'm talking about someone else. I mean I just re-read the first paragraph of this post and thought 'gosh, but that's ME I'm talking about!' Me and this body. And my mum, who didn't seem to want me. I'm afraid my boyfriend will leave me, just like mum used to leave me, every sunday night.

I dunno. Counselling, by the way, is useless. For me.
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Re: Insecurities

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:06 am

Broken_Chord wrote:nd the girls in my class, seem much more happier than me


Yes but you don't know their thoughts or what goes on when they aren't in view etc?

Broken_Chord wrote:like I think they're all prettier than me


Point is you can be the most pretty girl in the world and then someone will come along and take your crown off you - there will always be someone better than you, just as there will always be someone more worse off than you. You just have to feel comfortable as yourself.

Broken_Chord wrote:the other day, one of them was complaining loudly about how unfair it was that her mum wanted her to tidy her own room


Yes, however we live in an emo culture where if little madams don't get their own way they have a strop - which looks like this girl was doing. One of my friends is all so abandoned - her parents used to pay her mobile bill, buy her everything - she had use of the family car and she never needed to spend a penny on it - but no she is so deprived - she's lost every job she's had - but the problem isn't her?! When I was 18 I wish the only thing my parents asked was for me to tidy my room too.

Broken_Chord wrote: have to do everything else for myself. I tidy my room. I do all my washing/cooking/cleaning. I have to make sure I don't overspend my weekly allowance, or rent doesn't go through, and I'm in the poo. There is no parental guidance whatsoever. I've been living like this since 15/16 - ie, since my father was expelled from my life


I know it's a slightly different situation but my friend moved out when she was 16/17 after years of being the 'parent' to her alcoholic mam. When she was 13 her parents got divorced and they moved half way across the world - she wanted to stay with her dad; the court gave her alcoholic mam 100% custody. Her dad met another woman who had a son - he lavises this womans son - he's sent my friend ONE £50 cheque for her birthday over the years. He's always said I wanted a son - my friends mam died last year and her dad came up and 'helped' - however she hasn't seen him since - she is totally alone; an only child. But honestly Broken_Chord if I could show you her now - you'd be amazed - she's got herself a decent job (like you are hopefully aiming for with college and then uni); she's doing well for herself and I'm so so so so proud of her. Just because her mam 'had problems' and also never wanted her - my friend is determined NOT to turn out like her. I'm using my friend as an example of just because the start to your life wasn't very good it doesn't mean to say the rest of your life won't be. One day when you have a really good job - you'll look back and say "stuff the lot of them".

Broken_Chord wrote:It's just hard sometimes, to keep striving to be something better than my parents, and not repeat their mistakes to any extent.


To be honest; I don't think judging from your posts that you would ever turn out like your parents - realise their mistakes and make it your aim in life to never make the same mistakes and be proud of yourself for even getting this far. As I said I have no doubt that you will turn out better than your parents!
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Re: Insecurities

Postby snail » Mon Sep 28, 2009 9:54 am

I understand how you feel about other girls - much in your situation mirrors my own problems and feelings - but you have to remember that your suffering has given you a massive amount of insight and emotional depth that they don't have. That's the one compensation for the heavy burden you've carried. It's natural that you will sometimes look at them and wish you were like them, but as time goes on and you value yourself more, that feeling will lessen, until you only feel like that occasionally.

At the moment you're still at the stage of not being gentle enough on yourself and valuing yourself enough: like all people who were brutalised by their parents, you've gone on to repeat that attitude to yourself, because it's all you ever knew. Your parents didn't treat you well or pay attention to your needs, in fact they both deliberately damaged you to meet their own needs, so it's hard for you to value yourself and be loving towards yourself when they so spectacularly didn't and weren't. So you're torn: deep down, like everyone, all you want to do is love and care for yourself, but you are so used to being damaged, and so used to associating being damaged with being loved (because it was your parents that did it) that a big part of you wants to repeat that behaviour. That's why you fear slipping into drugs or ending up on the street - you can feel that side of you pulling you, and it's naturally terrifying. But if you are aware of what it is and where it comes from, and why, you won't fear it so much.

Broken_Chord wrote:When I talk about my past, I feel like I'm talking about someone else. I mean I just re-read the first paragraph of this post and thought 'gosh, but that's ME I'm talking about!'

That's normal - as I dare say you know, it's called disassociation. It's a self-protection mechanism, making it feel like the bad stuff didn't actually happen to you. I was the same and personally, I found it quite disorientating, but one day you'll be able to re-visit your past and re-claim it. It'll happen when you're finally ready to to accept the tremendous pain, and that will take time. I would just accept that strange feeling for the moment.

I can see counselling isn't for you at the moment - counselling would be about taking care of yourself, and about being soft and loving, and you're still in the very hard, brutal, angry stage, and still, I think, carrying all these ideas about love being associated with weakness. But keep it in your mind constantly, for the future, and go as soon as you're ready. I had a very similar attitude to you, and only ended up in couselling as a last resort when I had pretty much stopped being able to function. It's a huge regret for me that I didn't go 10 years earlier, instead of at the age of 34. So just keep it in mind.

In the mean time, hang on to your anger at your parents - it's healthy, but make sure it only ends up where it belongs, and not placed on youself or your boyfriend. And just keep talking, either on here or in real life.
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Re: Insecurities

Postby Bel Bel » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:16 am

I agree with snail and I too can sympathise with you. I lived in a very violent household and my step dad spied on me in the bathroom. My mum was weak and allowed herself to be manipulated and treated like dirt and more importantly didn't protect her children. I found the strength to ensure that I would not allow history to repeat itself. I know my situation is no where near as bad as yours but i can empathise with those feelings of wishing your life was different, how others have it so easy, how you feel dirty and not worthy and how others just don't appreciate what they have, but you are a stronger person because of your sitaution. You are self sufficient, mature and can offer someone so much more emotional depth than a silly girl who thinks her world is terrible because she has to clean her room.
Yes you are probably having a bad day, week or even month but you have done so much and should be so proud of yourself that you have stode on your own two feet even if you didn't want to.
We all have bad days but your days will easily draw you back to thinking of harder times.
Conselling may not be right for you, it's doesn't always help everyone but be careful to consider it again if you feel yourself really sliding back into a more long term depression
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Re: Insecurities

Postby Tarantula » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:52 pm

Thanks everyone. I feel better today. I was just having 'one of those days' the other day.

I certainly won't turn out like my parents. I just sometimes get the feeling of an ant trying to push a boulder up a hill. And a decent career is very much on my list of 'things that I will DEFINITELY achieve for myself'. However, I know from my mum that a good career no way means a good life and just, well, being HAPPY.

I do have an immense amount of emotional depth and insight. I've actually been told before by some girls my age that they wish they were more like ME! And these are girls who, to my eyes, have everything. So I just need to conquer these feelings of inadequacy, and then I'll have everything, too.

I think it could well be true that I associate being loved with being damaged in some way. I think this is evident in some of my behaviour towards my boyfriend, who matters so much, but who I constantly doubt, and I constantly doubt the relationship. Well, not constantly. But sometimes. And I never know if it's a real problem, or if it's just my perception.

Hey ho. Everybody's got issues.
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Re: Insecurities

Postby everloney » Mon Sep 28, 2009 11:50 pm

Hey broken_cord, i just wanted to say well done. You are brave and strong and i am so pleased that you are not allowing those terrible things to ruin your life. My first sexual encounter was abuse, not by family but by a friend. I always envy girls that have never had these things happen and wish i could be them, but if it had not happened i would not be me. You have alot of emotional depth and are very empathic and you give great advise ;). All this at the age of 18? now thats amazing. Sometimes you will feel bad but try to remember you are a strong person and you got though it. You did not fall to the way side like so many people would have.... I'm glad your feeling better today keep on going forward and life will work out for you, you deserve it.
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Re: Insecurities

Postby dipsydoodlenoodle » Tue Sep 29, 2009 8:42 am

Broken_Chord wrote:And I never know if it's a real problem, or if it's just my perception.


You need to talk it through with your boyfriend - ask him for reassurance - not clingy reassurance but ask him to be patient with you and help you understand things by talking it through more.

Broken_Chord wrote:I certainly won't turn out like my parents.


I will hold you to that!

Broken_Chord wrote:So I just need to conquer these feelings of inadequacy, and then I'll have everything, too.


You know everyone in the world is insecure. If someone says they aren't well they are lying; everyone will be insecure - even if it's about a spot or something. It's just you aren't in their heads to know what they are thinking.
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Re: Insecurities

Postby Tarantula » Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:50 pm

Update:

the thing is, EVERYONE says 'you're so strong/brave etc' and whilst I do appreciate it, I don't feel that I am. If someone keeps telling you that you're something good, you end up feeling the need to live up to it, and sometimes I wish people would be more geared towards saying 'you will NOT be able to deal with this 100% any time soon (if ever) because NO ONE is, but that's OKAY, it doesn't make you a weak person'... I can say it to myself. But loads of times I just wanna have a bit of a break down at various points some days, but hold back thinking I can't, or else people will think that I'm not this big strong messiah that they've made me out to be.

Case in point: I'm meant to be in Birmingham today taking part in a showy, glorified event to preceed a bigger event in November. Uh... I've won a V award. I've won an award for 'exceptional positive impact on the community', because I've put together an anti-child-abuse website with ITV Fixers and made a TV appearance. Everyone's singing songs about it and I hardly knew I'd been nminated. Now I've won a regional award, and have also been shortlisted for the National award too. :o I was kinda happy at first, but then it occurred to me

that I'm being rewarded for simply surviving something. I mean okay, I had the 'guts' to talk about it publicly, but all I've really achieved is drawing attention to it, I don't think I've actually helped anyone; the only reason I'm winning something with V is because it's topical, and it's taboo. No one talks about child abuse in public! I did, and were I at the event today, I'd be having photos taken and being interviewed by a magazine and being all... Glorified. I didn't sleep last night and instead realised that I didn't wanna do it, that maybe I'm not able to detach myself from my childhood any longer, and maybe it's about time I stop repressing and realise that it was ME it happened to - not someone else - and that I'll never be 'quite right', other girls will always have something I don't (which I'm bitter about), all I can do is try to find land from this bit of driftwood I find myself on, having 'survived' the shipwreck that was my severely dysfunctional upbringing.

My brother thinks I'm being ridiculously hard on myself, I think I'm just being honest. I don't feel like I deserve an award, not when the other contenders are people who have put hours upon hours into their volunteering. My volunteering has been based on something that's so heavily integrated into my very identity; I've reached a stage where I just want to never speak of it again in public, to anyone who's not strictly close to me.

Incidentally I was with my boyfriend last night and couldn't sleep so ended up waking him up and, at first, being mad at him for not psychically knowing I was having these thoughts (as ya do, when you have such discrepencies in your character as I have)... I was in floods of tears (he's barely ever seen me cry before, THAT was embarassing) and went on about how it was all my fault and I feel responsible and I had a choice about the abuse and oh, the complexities, the exposure, the bad juju. Of course, he told me it wasn't my fault. But I realised that I STILL feel like it is. I haven't put it behind me at all. And my boyfriend doesn't know the intricate details of what actually happened - he knows that I was abused, but you know, you don't think about these things when it's not you. I perhaps don't spend enough time thinking about starving children in Ethiopia. Although admittedly, I'm not in a relationship with a starving child in Ethiopia.

Still my boyfriend tried to be supportive once he'd slapped himself awake. I appreciated it. But I don't know how to progress from here. Don't just say 'counselling'; doesn't work. I supposed I need to stop putting myself under so much pressure to live up to other people's expectations, people who have NO CLUE what it feels like.

I feel weak and fragile and delicate and anything but the brave, strong woman of justice that people have branded me as.
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Re: Insecurities

Postby Skarlet » Sun Oct 18, 2009 9:25 pm

Hey Broken_Chord,

Although everyone tells you how brave and strong, thats because to them you have coped with something so difficult, and people admire you for that. you have done an amazing thing. You have used your experience to help others, and thats so unselfish, okay, people have spent hours volunteering, but you have shared something so personal to you to help others. I also think you need to give yourself a break. Its okay to feel weak and fragile and to need support, its okay to not want counselling. I think YOU need to start accepting that you are special.

Be kind to yourself Broken_Chord. I know I probably made no sense, and its probably not helpful. But I wanted to post something in response.
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Re: Insecurities

Postby Bel Bel » Tue Oct 20, 2009 12:35 pm

I agree with skarlet on this
You could have shrivelled up in ball along time ago and just given up but you didn't and your right, it is ok to have bad days and it defiantely doesn't make you weak
You should feel proud of your achievement it could well help others and that is fantastic
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