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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I would like to know what help there might be for me. I had

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I would like to know what help there might be for me.
I had early childhood trauma when I was 1 year old and became withdrawn and catatonic after. My parents had been married 7 years when I was born and resented having to look after me. My Mom said my Dad did not want tolook after me so she would go out and force him to. One day i remember it clearly, I was about 1 year old and I went up to my Dad who was talking to a friend in the kitchen and touched the bottom of his pants and he bent over and hit me as hard as he could and i went flying across the room. i started to cry and call for my mother and it took a long time for her to come. The right side of my face is paralyzed. My mother told me it was from falling in cold water but a doctor said no so i told him this story and he said it was from that.
I am 62 years old now and have never dealt with it and my parents have just acted as if nothing happened. I have been withdrawn all mylife and have had lots of problems with people etc My mother siad she didn't known anything about it and my dad just said he didn't remember. They were also verbally abusive to me all my life.
I had another memory of going to a doctor when I was young and recently found out from a friend whose sister is studying child psychiatry that my mother sent me for electric shock treatment for my catatonic state and my paralysis. She just has always said I was sent for physiotherapy and psychotherapy. when I confronted her she admitted it was electric shock therapy. I have always known there was something wrong with me. I have tried psychologists but no one has really understood my problem. i think the physical trauma to my head and the EST must have damaged my brain physically. I am stillwithdrawn, have problems with relationships, at work etc.and would really like to be healed so I can have a man in my life. I was married to someone just like my parents then divorced.
What kind of help is available for me?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

I agree with you, it does sound like you may have sustained neurological damage when you were hit by your father. You were brutalized and traumatized by your parents. Damage that is physical and emotional can cause you to feel the way you describe.

The first step to take is seeing your doctor, if you have not already done so. Testing to determine if you have any brain damage or other physical effects from the abuse can rule out causes or give you an idea of how they are affecting you. There is a guideline in psychology to always rule out the physical before you consider the psychological. There are many physical problems that mimic emotional or psychological issues. Therefore, it would be a waste of time to treat a person in therapy without being sure that is what you are dealing with.That is why this is an important first step.

Once you are aware of what is physical and emotional, then pinpointing your symptoms and your issues is the next step. You mention having trouble in relationships, being withdrawn, and having problems at work. Although this is general, I will take a guess here and say you probably have Post Traumatic Stress or at least symptoms of it. You could also suffer from depression. I'm not sure if any of the therapists you saw mentioned these diagnosis to you but it is a possibility and needs to at least be ruled out.

Since you did not feel therapy worked for you, self help is an option. Sometimes, people can learn about their symptoms and find ways to get support through self talk, group therapy, support groups and talking with trusted friends and family. It is not a substitute in the cases of serious illnesses like Bipolar that need medication, but it helps in cases such as yours.

Here are some resources to help you:

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

An Adult Child's Guide to What's 'Normal' by John C. Friel Ph.D. and Linda D. Friel M.A.

Lifeskills for Adult Children by Ed.D. Janet G. Woititz and M.A. Alan Garner

Adult Children as Husbands, Wives, and Lovers: A Solutions Book by Steven Farmer

You can find these books at or your local library may have them for you.

The main focus should be dealing with the trauma you suffered. Children who suffer abuse such as yours can have a lifetime of effects. But reaching out for help, learning to trust, and helping yourself can all go a long way in helping you overcome your childhood trauma.

Let me know if I can help any further,

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