I'm going slightly mad - huge post

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I'm going slightly mad - huge post

Postby Tarantula » Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:18 pm

It finally happened...

Hi PP. I'm not sure if anyone can say anything helpful but this is where I'm at right now.

For those of you who don't know, I come from a severely dysfunctional background involving a sexually abusive father and a mum who only came home on the weekends 'because of work' and who would leave me, wailing and crying, every sunday night because I didn't want to go back to my dad. My parents argued all the time about money, and I'm so depressed as I'm writing this because it's making me aware, again, that this is actually ME I'm talking about, not someone else's sorry a$$ story.

I disclosed to my mum at 15, and she told the police (not before blaming me and asking me if I enjoyed it, mind. She only said that once but I will never forgive her.); it went to court and I 'won' - my dad went to jail for 3 years, was out after 18 months for good behaviour.

I got a brother. Well actually I have three but I usually don't even bother mentioning the others. My oldest lied in court to defend my dad, so he can do one. The next one down (he's 37 now) hasn't had a job in over a decade and lives off mum's money, and basically lives an online life with virtually no interaction with the real world. That wouldn't be so bad to me if he wasn't also a vaguely violent drinker who likes to get all up in his then-17-year-old sister's face and intimidate her until she runs away from home and doesn't come back. That was me. I moved in with my then-boyfriend, who's mum turned out to be a sex abuse 'survivor'-turned-crazy person who, you would've thought got along with me but she hates me now, because I left her house a few months later, boyfriend - her son - in tow. I didn't force him to come with me, he really wanted to get away from her, but she - like all responsible adults - says I stole him away. Well, regardless, we broke up in dramatic lost-teenager fashion (the police were involved at one point, such drama!) and I kept doing what I had been doing since 13 - swinging from one hopelessly needy relationship to the next, never stopping for a breath.

Anyway, my youngest brother (27) is the only person who has maintained some kind of sanity in my family and the only person who has ever supported me in any real way (my mum has never, EVER asked me how I'm coping with post-abuse life, she just wants to sweep it under the rug... like so many). Dad used to beat him up pretty bad, and accuse him of not being his son because he was 'too dark'. Meanwhile mum would put him down ALL the time, saying he was an 'absolute zero' and an idiot. He owns his own business now, in which he's successful, and he's serially single because his self esteem is fundamentally damaged and girls don't like that.

At 19 I DID stop for a breath - a breath that lasted over a year - in which I read books, went to the gym, watched Jeremy Kyle, played computer games, got myself into a decent uni and generally went up in the world because for the first time ever, I was happy by myself. I dated a few guys but nothing serious; and my life didn't depend on it like it used to. I got to uni and was happy as a bean when I authentically slipped and fell and met my current boyfriend, who I nearly broke up with last night because I'm insane and don't know how to cope with the overwhelming OK-NESS of it all.

This is the best relationship I've been in because it started for the right reasons. It's been over a year now and I'm 21 and we just started living together. Things are usually peaceful and good. Except I find 'peaceful and good' to be incredibly difficult to accept. I'm so used to profound suffering that it's the very fact that everything is OKAY now that has totally thrown me. My mind's like 'what? Why isn't there big, violent fighting? Why isn't there abuse? Why isn't there alcohol?' Oh yeah, my mum's a drinker. Did I mention that? She likes to get on the gin and tell us that she's dying and we don't love her and why do people have kids etc etc etc. That old chestnut.

Anyway, my boyfriend treats me like a queen most of the time but he's not perfect. I find him quite young and temperamental. We've had some bad fights - which, by my standards is shouting and crying and that. No beating; I can't be dealing with that, it's too cliche. Bf couldn't possibly be more devoted to me and I tell him everything. And I really, really fancy him. We still have sex pretty much every day despite virtually living together for a year now. Oh, I can have sex and not go crazy about it. Don't ask me how, given my upbringing, but I've managed to avoid the pitfalls of either being terrified of sex, or putting it about everywhere for validation. Yay for me.

I don't know how to stop expecting The Big Catch. I don't know how to stop worrying. I worry ALL the time that he's gonna cheat/abandon me, and I'm exhausted! I have nightmares about it quite often, which I tell him about in the morning and we laugh it off. He doesn't dream much, but when he does, it's usually about birds or other animals. He's a wildlife photographer, so when I say birds, I do mean birds. Not women. THAT'S how innocent he is. I worry I'm drinking his soul. I get so bitter and frustrated about little things and I don't know how to let anything go.

He did a bad thing nine months ago that I STILL haven't let go of - which was send some odd-sounding messages to a girl he knew, and used to fancy months before meeting me. She was still in the 'friend' group and from what I can tell, she's distinctly ordinary, congenial enough, very normal, and probably did the standard young-girly-girl thing of messing him around a little with a few mixed signals here and there and that was about it - way before he met me. Because she was on his course and just so very THERE in his circle whether he liked it or not, he felt the need to keep up appearances and when she got mad at him for not returning some phone calls over last summer, he decided to kiss bum about it. This was well into our relationship now. He wrote her some pretty balls-on-a-platter messages about how badly he wanted to stay friends, and although he didn't cross the line into romantic territory, it was definitely a close shave ('I've got to be friends with you') and I haven't been able to get it out of my head. Even though he's reassured me a million times that it DIDN'T mean what I thought it meant, and we've gone to some mutual social events and he hasn't bothered with her at all; she isn't even on his FB anymore and our relationship is very close - we idolise each other a lot - and he's never done anything (else) to make me worry, he doesn't even really talk to other girls, except maybe his mates' girlfriends. He just ain't interested, he's got his guy mates who he cares about a lot, and he's got me, and he's happy.

It isn't that I see this girl as a threat - I'm pretty secure that I'm more attractive than her by quite a notch (you can blame my doting, loving, supportive parents for that attitude, for those of you who are inclined to think that ANY straight assertion of one's own worth = big-headedness), and as I say, me and fella ARE solid and even if we weren't, he wouldn't mess around full stop. My problem is that I can't forgive him and I still think about it a lot. He insists that he wasn't even paying attention to what he was writing - that it was 'any old thing' - and that he felt guilty about ignoring her, which is what motivated him to bother at all - not a deep down secret attraction. I don't believe him. The length and number of messages was too many for it to be seen as a quick, 'whatever' response. It seemed thought out to me. But I decided to not break up with him at the time and I know I'm obligated to stand by that or it's unfair. I thought I could get past it and it turns out I really haven't.

Even though it'd hardly the worst thing he could have done. People kiss other people,and people move past it! And that's just KISSING! My bf didn't even come close to actually DOING anything, he just used a foolhardy combination of words. Right? Right?

I'm harbouring so much resentment towards him and I don't like myself much these days. I wish I could just forget it, and forget this weird complex about something HAVING to be wrong for me to relate. I don't know how to process something that isn't horrific, so my mind is constantly hyperanalysing him, judging him, almost looking for an excuse, even though on the other hand, I am genuinely happy with him - when I'm not having crazy time - and regularly wonder how on Earth I could have ever felt so bad about him. I'm constantly going from one to the other, like a bi polar person, where my boyfriend takes on one of two roles in my head:

a) The best thing ever, the most patient, devoted, accepting and also FIT boyfriend I'm ever gonna have, who I need to stop having crazy time with before he genuinely gets put off (although I'm always wondering how that hasn't happened yet; why the hell he hasn't run a mile. It's not like he's a doormat - he sticks up for me, and himself, all the time - one time, we were in a pub and this group of guys started making fun of my jacket, and my boyfriend went over there and told them off and you should've seen their balls shrink!!), and who I need to stay with and ultimately become baby mama with and all that.

b) Someone who's simply got a move he hasn't made yet - i.e., with another girl or whatever. Maybe when we're 40 he'll pork a 25yo. Could happen. Basically it's only a matter of time before he disappears, maybe it'll be sunday night. And anyway, he sent those messages and I can't get over it. Maybe I'm not supposed to get over it. Maybe I'm settling again. Maybe he's only with me out of circumstance (he hasn't exactly got the most supportive family unit either - surprised? I'm not.).


In the space of a day I can go round the cycle of him being wonderful/him being awful about six times. We'll be laughing and joking together and then he'll say something by accident that's SLIGHTLY below the belt and the whole atmosphere will just turn to ice because I can't get over anything and keep a photographic record of everything anyone has ever done that upset me to any extent whatsoever. I remember, and mentally regurgitate, everything. Then I'll think about breaking up. Then he'll hug me and I'll wonder what on Earth I was thinking.

I'm constantly yearning to find the Big 'Truth' of my situation - which scenario is the reality here? Is he a good man who I'd be a prat to lose, or is he someone I should've got rid of long time ago? Everything he does, each day, seems to add to one or the other theory. And my moods dramatically change accordingly. I don't know how to stop and just let life happen, and stop worrying that he's gonna abandon me, and stop being crazy.

I've googled all sorts of funny terms, like 'depression' and 'bi polar' and 'borderline personality disorder', and I've thought about getting counselling again but to be honest it never helped before and felt more like emotional prostitution - compassion for money. In any case it all seems like a big declaration of defeat to me. I'm supposed to be stronger than this; I used to be. Lately I've taken a dip, but I used to feel more secure than I do now, surely that means I'm in the wrong place? I'm trying to get serious about my anti-child abuse stuff that I do, but I feel like such a worthless hypocrite to be trying to instill positivity and resilience in anyone who comes across my website, when inside I feel so low.

I also feel quite lonely, other than my boyfriend, because I don't have many friends and the ones I do have, I don't feel amazingly close to - never have with friends really. I've found it easy to be close to boyfriends because I've got something to bargain with - my sex - but with friends/other people I guess I feel, deep down, that I've nothing to offer. :cry:
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Re: I'm going slightly mad - huge post

Postby Bel Bel » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:35 pm


I know you are strong and a survivor because I have read many of your posts.

I too am a survivor but on a magnitude of a microdot compared to you but the reason I mention this is becuase I think survivors feel compelled to show people they are strong, fighters and that are determined to prove they don't get pushed around (anymore).

But we are just people and we have had nasty experiences that have messed with our heads.

I would strongly recommend cognitive therapy. My sister has been screwed up for years by her dad, my step dad (the perpitraitor of my wows). Beating my mum, perving on me, alcholic etc etc.

She is in her 30's and had conselling and it never helped, she even described it pretty much as you do. However recently she discovered cognitive therapy and because it's about helping yourself constructively not just letting your feelings out she has changed her life dramatically. It's like someone waved a wand and made her better. You get out what you put in so when she has a little slip she has to go back to practicing the theories again but then she quickly gets back on track.

I am not at all surprised by anything you say about how you think and feel. I think considering you are pretty damn stable.
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Re: I'm going slightly mad - huge post

Postby rufio89 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:50 pm

I agree with BelBel. All things considered, you really have done remarkably well.

The only thing I would add is - dont beat yourself up about it too much. Think about how far you've come in the last few years, how much higher your self-worth is and how much better this guy is for you than any of the ones you've gone for before. Dont forget that your upbringing and history aside, you're still young! (not in a patronising way, I think the same things about myself), you're in your early 20's, you're still learning your role in relationships, you're still finding yourself.

The thing with your boyfriend is there might well turn out to be a big catch. He might get to 40 and run off with a 25 year old, but worrying about it isnt going to make it any less (or more) likely to happen. You never know how people are going to turn out, but from what you say about him, there's no good reason to expect those things to happen. I know it's difficult but just try to accept that he's not turned out to have a catch yet. Everyone has their flaws, all couples fight (I know there will be people who will jump in and say they never fight with their OH, but I think it takes both sides of the couple to have the right kind of personality for that - I am 99% sure I'll never have a partner I've never fought with) and there's really no more reason for you to worry about him f-ing up and doing something bad than there is for you to worry about getting hit by a bus or all your hair falling out.
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Re: I'm going slightly mad - huge post

Postby highlandcow » Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:07 pm

Broken_Chord wrote:In the space of a day I can go round the cycle of him being wonderful/him being awful about six times. We'll be laughing and joking together and then he'll say something by accident that's SLIGHTLY below the belt and the whole atmosphere will just turn to ice because I can't get over anything and keep a photographic record of everything anyone has ever done that upset me to any extent whatsoever. I remember, and mentally regurgitate, everything. Then I'll think about breaking up. Then he'll hug me and I'll wonder what on Earth I was thinking.

I've been here too.

But I agree with the others, and Bel's suggestion of cognitive therapy.

rufio89 wrote:worrying about it isnt going to make it any less (or more) likely to happen. You never know how people are going to turn out, but from what you say about him, there's no good reason to expect those things to happen.

I agree with this too, but we all know how hard it is to logically think that when you're feeling the way you are.

I don't really have much more to add, just to let you know we're all here for you. We're all survivors in our own way....but you, BC, you are freakin' FABULOUS! :grouphug:
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Re: I'm going slightly mad - huge post

Postby AngelsSin » Thu Sep 13, 2012 3:15 pm

I had to reply to this, I can relate to what you've said so much. I too was sexually abused by my dad and although my mum wasn't abusive, we weren't close and I always felt she resented me.

What you describe with the not being able to handle normality and almost looking for problems, that's me all over. The difference is, whilst you are looking, I'd be creating them, I'm stupid enough I guess, to want to hurt the other person before they hurt me so if a relationship is coming to an end, I cheat, because then I'm in control - dumb huh?

I'm 32 and still haven't figured out how to have a normal life, I don't have really close friends either and I also have issues with sex, so you know what, you're not doing too bad at all girl!

I can't really give you advice because I'm right there with you. I tend to put a wall up in relationships so that I don't get too close, then if they cheat on me, it's not going to send everything crashing down. I have found things that can help though, for example, if I start to get worried about stuff like that, I just remind myself that I can only be the best person I can be, there is nothing I can do to stop someone cheating, so there is no point in worrying about it before it's ever even happened. It's just something I repeat to myself because like you, if I think about it too much, I start to take it out on the boyfriend.

I think sometimes even confronting the thought, imagining it has happened, he's cheated, what will you do? Having a plan of action and an idea of how you might cope can help not to have to go over it again and again.

Ultimately, you're ruining what you have by obsessing over something that is only in your imagination. You can't control him, he's his own person, you can only control you. Stop wasting energy on "what ifs" and let yourself enjoy what you have together right here and now. I know it's much easier said than done, but if you tell yourself this stuff every day, you start to believe it.

I lost the love of my life because of my stupid issues (a little different to yours) and you know what I regret most, letting my past get in the way of something so special. I wish I'd treasured every second we were together even if it was only ever going to last 4 years. I'd rather of had those 4 magical years in a lifetime of pain, then nothing at all. I want to tell you how everything will be lovely, but we both know life isn't like that and you won't believe it anyway, experience has taught you not to. So I personally think it’s better to just enjoy the good bits to the full whilst you have them. None of us know what the future holds, and that’s scary, but you can also look on it as a freedom to embrace the moment.

He sounds like a wonderful man, have faith in him, and have faith in yourself, you’ve earned it.
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