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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I'm struggling with myself due mental abuse from my father

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Hi there.
My name is ***** ***** I'm struggling with myself due mental abuse from my father for 20 years or as long as i can remember, I am now 22 years old.
I do not know how to start this to make you a good picture of my life but i will try.
My dad works home and have done that as long as i have lived, before that he worked one place where he thought the manager was in his words "a f**kING IDIOT". He started evolving his exploding temper over the years from throwing potatoes into the walls to shouting everyone in the family is stupid c**ts and idiots, worthless piece of shit, with actually quite terrifying anger. My mom is, i am not really sure but i think she is quite low intellectual individual, which makes this scenario or life a lot harder because she does´t have a decent view over the whole problem so i can talk with her about it, and get relief or sympathy to build myself in any way. He has never said positive feedback, never cried nor said he was sorry when he has had an outburst, which for the last 10 years is more or less everyday. WHEN i started crying as younger he would always buy me something, to make up for it. He was physical a few times, dragged me in the hair, pushed my mom, whipped my sister. He also watches porn, violent.
I had this tendency of picking up his behavior of being mentally abusive to others close to me, but then i joined the army and had a tough time with authority, got a girlfriend who stole 50 000 usd, and cheated on me in the meanwhile which paralyzed me, and over a few years changed me to see what my life has been. I never thought anything was wrong, just a regular family, except for the one thing i never understood, my problem to fit in. Anywhere. Friends, families, social moments, not feel week among others.
I now live a few days a week with my parents, and its come to this: My mom thinks my dad is cheating on her, and they are arguing and shouting to each other several times a week. He is not cheating though, i know for sure, but my mom never gives up the thought despite whatever proof she finds this to be NOT true.
I don't know what to do, because, I struggle finding balance in my life, i feel i have changed entirely. I feel like i have blown off my old personality to create a new one yet i am not there yet, feel like i sway through a lot of thoughts of being insecure. If i did not be clear enough about it before in the text, i have lacked the feel of love from parents throughout my life. If any questions, please ask. This was written in a rush. I started studying psychology for 1 year to try and learn anything, or test myself. I have always been looked at as stupid, this is confirmed since people have told me that, and i can realize why theyve had that image of me. I feel this have changed along the way as i led the old personality behind me. Yet there is a few things to cause low self esteem, and i am not sure why. I just cant seem to get rid of it.
Thanks in advance
Hello Tom, I'd like to help you with your question.
You have survived being horribly abused. You lived with a father who was angry, violent and did/does not care about anyone but himself. Your mother probably could not stand up to him and might be co dependent. That may make her appear low in intelligence but I suspect there is more to her than she lets on. She might hide it because of her fear.
It is very normal to feel as you do after surviving an abusive childhood. It is not uncommon to feel lost, confused and insecure. You were not given the basic emotional needs that you should have had. If you had been cared for you would not be experiencing these feelings. So they have little to do with who you are and all to do with your reaction to what you have been through.
Childhood abuse can be compared to being in a war zone. Except you do not have a weapon to defend yourself with and the enemy is a lot stronger and more powerful than you. You had no way to respond to what your father or mother did. You had to accept it. And how they reacted was dysfunctional. That can cause a lot of trauma that you have to work through when you get out of the home and on your own.
The first step is accepting that there is nothing wrong with you. You are perfectly normal and are definitely not stupid (most likely a message you learned to accept from your father). What you are experiencing has to do with your parents. It is not uncommon for adult children of abusive parents to experience anxiety, depression, confusion, anger or feel completely lost. Recognize that any symptoms you have probably are because of what you went through.
The next step is to begin addressing what you feel. Learning more about the effects of childhood abuse, getting out of your home for good and finding support are all ways to deal with what you feel. Here are some resources:
Adult Children of Abusive Parents by Steven Farmer
Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward and Craig Buck
Cutting Loose: An Adult's Guide to Coming to Terms with Your Parents by Howard Halpern
An Adult Child's Guide to What's 'Normal' by John Friel and Linda D. Friel
You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.
Consider getting out of your home permanently. You need to be away from your parents and the dysfunction that goes on in the home between them before you can begin to heal. If you are constantly being traumatized, it is hard to recover. Try to set some boundaries between you and your parents. Control how much you are exposed to them and be sure to leave if things get bad. You have a choice now and you don't have to be abused anymore.
Also, consider seeing a therapist. As a psychology student, you know the value of working out your own problems before you can help others. And the support is something you can use now to help you find your way. A therapist can provide an objective view of what happened to you and assist you in your recovery.
Most of all, keep trying. What you went through was very painful and working through it all can be difficult, but the more you try, the easier it will be to feel better. And know that you are not alone. There are many out there who understand and can help.
I hope this has helped you,
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the information, but theres still a few things i wish to clear out.
Have you any idea what is wrong with my dad? I will not try to heal him, but i am curious because i felt i have had him in me alot during childhood, the anger when i dont get what i want. I felt like I could yell a person to death, and the more sad the person became, the more satisfaction i got. I also watched violent porn for that matter. These things disturbs me a little. Like when my ex girlfriend took those money from me, i managed to get them back through a lawyer, and along that road i found out alot about her which gave me atleast a little closure, and that helped a lot, like i hope it will about and along my way road to healing my psychic.
Theres also this dilemma about moving out, because i dont have good enough self esteem to start in a job, and without a job i cant move out. I have no grandparents, and an uncle i have no relationship to, i am pretty much alone in the family to this moment. Reaching out will be too much for me. Alot of the reasons to the problems i have getting a job is the over and over again feeling of failure. And I would only HOPE it was from just my parents, but i have felt this everywhere i have been through school and socially. I feel like i can't fit in, and if I try, i will rip open an old wound which i have tried to heal for so long with so much effort. Here is where i stand, batteling and struggeling.
Do you have any thoughts about what i can try to do, without reading a book? Thanks in advance
I cannot be sure of what is going on with your father without being able to evaluate him in person but it certainly sounds like he might have a personality disorder or possibly an intermittent explosive disorder or other anger disorder.
I understand it is difficult to reach out, but if you are unable to get some type of help, you can still get better but it will be more difficult on your own. The best way to help yourself is at least to get therapy. If you cannot do that, then self help is the next best way. Besides that, I'm not sure what else you might be looking for. The only two options are helping yourself or seeking help with others. And you already took the first steps today by asking here what you can do to help yourself. That is a very positive step to take.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Well, i am not sure either what it is I am looking for, besides having well with myself, I have already seen a therapist, but I cant say it helps. I can have days which are really good, and i can have days which is really bad, but i do never have a problem with discussing my problems with a therapist, over a monitor or in person, i just never feel like I find the strength to get a job, or atleast the self-image i need to be independent. I think it is hard to know anything when the problems circles myself instead of others, where i feel quite intelligent at the area. As for now, as i have said i feel lost and i dont really know what i want other then being happy.
You may want to try another therapist if you feel the one you saw did not help. It is a matter of finding a good fit, just like with a medical doctor.Feeling as you do most likely comes from never having a solid, normal relationship as a child. Your parents are to provide the basic self esteem you need to grow as a person. If all you dealt with was dysfunction and abuse, then it is going to make you feel as you do now. What you describe is after years of facing abuse. It may take a while to work through it. That is why therapy and self help are vital. But it can be frightening to face so it is not unusual to feel you do not have the strength or self image to do anything. It could also be that you are depressed, especially if you find yourself angry a lot. Try to at least seek an evaluation with a therapist so you know what diagnosis you are dealing with. That will provide a path for you to follow.KatePlease rate my service as OK or higher so I am reimbursed for my answer. Thanks so much!
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