Hello Dee, I would like to help you with your question.
First, I am so sorry to hear that you had to suffer through horrible abuse as a child and as an adult. Abuse like you suffered can cause Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder and other emotional difficulties because of the intensity of the experience. Nightmares
, depression, anxiety
and tearfulness, like you experienced, are some of the symptoms people develop, even years after the abuse has ended.
What often occurs for children who suffer through abuse is that in order to cope with the horror they have to live with, they learn ways to shut off their feelings. They may even be able to give the appearance to others outside the situation that all is well with them. They smile, laugh and appear normal. But inside, they struggle to hide all the powerful emotions caused by the abuse, the pain, sorrow and loss of their childhood.
As a result, many kids grow up to be adults who are very skilled at hiding their pain, particularly ignoring the pain from their childhood. They may feel relieved at getting out of the situation and so they move on with their lives. They may avoid talking about it or any references to it and some even can have contact with the very parents that abused them without letting those feelings out.
But what often happens is those feelings end up coming out anyway in a variety of ways. Some people drink or use drugs to cope, others develop depression or anxiety and may not know why, and still others just shut parts of themselves off. What you may have experienced when you talked with your friend was a "break through" of your feelings. Your conversation triggered those feelings, maybe because you felt safe with your friend or you were able to let go of those feelings after so long. Whatever the reason, talking to someone about what you feel is a great way to work through all the hurt and pain so you can put the past in the past and feel better about yourself and your life. A therapist can help you bring those feelings out and work through them within a supportive and caring environment.
To find a therapist, talk with your doctor about a referral. Or you can search on line at http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/
There are also numerous resources to help you through self help:http://www.ascasupport.org/
Adult Children of Abusive Parents: A Healing Program for Those Who Have Been Physically, Sexually, or Emotionally Abused by Steven Farmer
Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward and Craig Buck
Through therapy and self help, you can feel better.
I hope this helps you,