Intrapsyc/Raphael M.T. ASAP please.
Hi, I have several related questions. Are you available for CHAT? Thanks. Jon
Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).
Sure, I am here to support you, please feel free to join the chat in order to work on your questions.
I will be waiting for you. I hope you could connect tonight, otherwise we could chat tomorrow morning.
Hi, thank you for joining the chat
Do you know anything about PTSD?
I listen, please let me know about your questions.
Sure, what specifically do you want to know?
Actually, it's a very complicated situation
I was just wondering if you had any recommendations
Recommendations about treatment for PTSD?
About an adult "son" in his 60's-- still being psychologically abused by 90 year old parents
And, because he cares about his parents, tries to tolerate it
But, in doing so, is constantly reminded of countless incidences of psychological abuse from them from decades ago.
I am sorry to know about this person's situation, nothing easy since it is about old parents who happen to be this abusive.
which then "converts" PTSD to current... and stops the recovery.
As you can guess, it's me
It's a very unusual situation. Most 90 year olds have lost a good part of their cognitive skills
I see. As with any adult person, one thing is to care about parents and another very different to expose yourself to further forms of abuse. No form of abuse is acceptable and as you meant, it could become retraumatizing to perpetuate codependent dynamics, where you allow further abuse from your parents.
That's true, unfortunately
A core issue here seems to be codependency, which like any other addiction needs to be addressed as such, and consistent work on yourself done in order to rehabilitate from it with professional psychological support, the same way any past trauma still affecting a person's mood, functioning or relationships, needs to consider consistent psychotherapeutic support.
It's about developing better coping skills and assertiveness, setting clear and healthy boundaries and limits, in order not to allow nor enable further abuse under any circumstance.You could not change them at all, since that's away from your control, but you can and need to control the way you cope and take care of yourself.
Actually, it's a "forced codependency"-- a very unusual situation in which my father had established a built up a political network of supporters when I was still a young child
OOps take out the built up
that enabled him to privately pyschological abuse me-- without my being able to get anyone to believe my story
I see, then it was truly this bad when you were that young, and apparently it became a chronic core issue...
Thats not exactly true. Many people knew what was going on. But, due to my father's political power, only a few were willing to confront him.
I just realized. I'm letting him "steal" my energy NOW
I don't want to get you in trouble with Just Answer, but, are you allowed to at least tell me if you are in the U.S.?
Right, that's a very graphical and accurate way to describe what has been going on in your relationship.
I always get increased PTSD at this time of year-- Memorial Day Weekend.
No problem. I do constantly travel, and right now I am not in the States but will be back in a month.
Holidays are very common and powerful triggers for most people suffering of depressive and anxiety disorders, even more if they are related to trauma.
I'm sure that you are young (probably not even born then), but, do you ever work with Vietnam vets?
Yes, I have worked with veterans face to face and online too.
Actually, thirty years ago, I went to grad school to get an advanced degree in social service-- but, due to the continuing PTSD, ended up giving up and going in another direction.
A great example of the psychological abuse was that, while I in college at that time and was opposed to that war, my father was constantly trying to get me to flunk out of college so that I would be drafted and sent into combat in Vietnam.
Oh well. Anyway, back to my original concern
Sadly it is not uncommon to see how PTSD could dramatically transform and undermine a person's life in very powerfully and destructive ways, specially when necessary support from the person's support system and professionals is not present.
That sounds like a real nightmare.
It turned out that three of my classmates were killed within two years in Vietnam. But, in all cases, my father had no sympathy or respect. Actually, no one else in my family cared. The real issue is that although I was supportive of all of them, my mother, older brother, and younger sister all witnessed what was happening to me-- and did nothing.
Anyway, getting back to why I contacted you...
It's very sad, and shows how serious the neglect was, and how it was not an isolated episode but an overwhelming chronic family issue
Actually, my mother, brother, and sister DID do something
They all decided that they could treat me the same way that my father did.
So, as a result, I haven't seen any of them in more than 20 years
I sought help from many therapists for this-- and they all warned me to not see any of them "in person" without taking along several witnesses-- and then, only in a public place.
I see, then what you described before has exclusively been related to your direct contact-relationship with your father but not with your mother, right?
Correct. My mother is "in on it to." To try to cover up for his behavior, my father decided to "set me up" a couple of times--
with my mother's help.
For example, one time they invited me out to dinner and everything seemed to be going fine. And, while I was sitting at the table having a friendly conversation with my parents, my father excused himself saying he needed to use the restroom.
A few minutes later, my father returned to the table-- with a policeman that he had called-- after claiming that I had threatened him.
Actually, THEY (my mother and father) did that numerous times-- like "good cop/bad cop."
That was really serious and abusive, and clearly shows how distorted they got in their minds and their abusive ways. IS your father physically disable or has any other disability or serious problem, making it impossible for him to be fine without your close presence?
Anyway, I apologize. I'm taking up too much time. The main reason I contacted you was to see if you have any ideas about how to see my parents NOW without having them do that again.
If you have a few more minutes, I will tell you the real reason
You just mentioned you met both of your parents and your parents, right?
I haven't seen either of them in 23 years
Again, several therapists strongly advised me to not ever meet with them without several "witnesses" who will speak up
And, protect me against false accusations
On the contrary. My parents are amazingly mentally sharp at 90
What I see here is that if your parents are not seriously disable and have nobody to support them to take care of essential needs, then to expose yourself to any further form of abuse would be unhealthy and just worse the abuse and the impacts of it, and while you cannot control them at all, you can and need to control what you choose to do about taking good care of yourself and rehabilitation process, even more when fully aware that there is nothing healthy about you exposing to them. Absolutely that makes perfect sense.
I am relieved to know you haven't met them this long.
And, although they do have some physical health issues, their minds are unbelievably sharp
which is the problem
They remember everything
from my entire life
and what they did to me
which is why they are still trying to discredit me
so that others won't realize what they did
OH well, my apologies
I'm taking up a lot of your time and there probably isn't much you can do
Sadly, I tried hundreds of times to let them know that I had forgiven them and to just start fresh
And, many therapist also tried to get them to do the same
Actually, the reasons for the abuse are very simple. All of my family and most of my relatives are very unhappy people who are very jealous of anyone else being able to do something that they can't.
That shows you did your best to start the healing process giving them more than one chance to start fresh as you said, but their personal , marital and family issues have been there this powerfully systematically denying any possibility for any positive change and reconciliation.
OOPS. Am I taking up too much of your time?
I'll answer that. YES
Sorry, I didn't realize how long I had been chatting.
I better let you go and give you a very high rating and tip.
I am sorry but time here is limited, we have been more than an hour here and as you know this website is focused on providing general information through concrete answers, and it is obvious there is much work you need to do with psychotherapeutic support. Please do commit to your therapy process in order to better cope with these painful situations, rehabilitate from PTSD and to improve the quality of your life as much as you long for and deserve.
I appreciate your honesty and trust.
But, anyway, because none of my family members would forgive what they have done to me, they don't believe that I would, either-- so they resent me even more for forgiving me. That's the story.
Thank you very much and have a great weekend.
I hope you could continue to work on getting more empowered to take good care of yourself and coping with these overwhelming situations, with all the support you could get from therapy and from your support system.
Many things in life do not depend on us, like what people think, feel and do, but we have always the power, right and responsibility to choose what we want for our lives as adults, and it is there where we need to focus in order to heal and grow stronger from pain and abuse. Thank you for your trust again.