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Thread: possible childhood trauma

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    possible childhood trauma

    I didn't know where to put this, as it encapsulates many things going on in my life, but recently, as some of you know, I got in contact with my very absent mother.

    There had always been rumors within my family that my grandfather was abusive, hence my mothers woeful attempt at raising us. I had heard that some of it was of a sexual nature, toward my mother and aunt, and my older brother had mentioned things from his childhood that affirmed it.

    We grew up in the house my mother did, I had their room. I was always scared in that room. It had a built in wardrobe that went up to the attic, with no door. Just a big black space, darker than the rest of the black within my room, I was always terrified of that dark. I was told that by older brother that he once found scouring pads, pushed under the bath panel, (when my mother was decorating) extremely rusty, covered in a weird slugey substance. I was told that my aunt used to scrub herself with scouring pads (by her own words, to get clean) and she would hide them so he, my grandfather, wouldn't see. My grandmother apparently knew, she let it occur because she was super religious and he was the head of the household. (and he was a vicious, violent cunt)

    It turns out the rumors were true. The thing is, my youngest years were spent largely in their care, until my nan died, when I was about five. (my mother was at college at the time) my earliest memories about my childhood, is trying to hide, and being scared. I seriously have nothing but the most vague memory of my childhood. Apparently, according to various papers, this is common amongst people abused as children. Amongst with a whole massive tick list that I fall into, self harm when I was younger, promiscuity too early, eating disorder, depression, strange boundaries, an obsession with layering clothing, fear of the dentists, nail biting, skin picking, fear of being submerged in water/ getting face wet, early sexual behaviour, sensitive gag reflex, panic attack and night terrors to name but a few.

    My first boyfriend was 23 when I was thirteen, I didn't think it was weird, and couldn't understand why people were angry.

    I'm really just feel that since my mother acknowledged her own abuse at the hands of this man, even though it was in an argumentative angry email, something has unlocked in my mind. I stopped biting my nails over night, I went the dentists even though I'm petrified. I'm having recurring nightmares, and night terrors/sleep paralysis.

    I read that sometimes your brain can supress shit until you can sort of cope with it, a disassociation from memory.... I just feel super weird right now. Like her email, stating an unknown truth, has unlocked why I may be so broken. I had to put this somewhere, I'm sorry, I really just needed to organise my thoughts, which until recently seemed I was getting a handle on things, but I feel like dust in a really vicious wind right now 😢
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    Non of this matters NomadicRT's Avatar
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    Too tired to respond to this in any meaningful way atm whitepoppy but i think maybe its a sign youre ready to deal with the past ?
    Have you looked up 'dissociation from child abuse' on google ? theres plenty of useful help and resources which may help you make progress through this unsettling phase youre in.
    Last edited by NomadicRT; 13-01--2017 at 06:51 AM.
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    Transcending whitepoppy's Avatar
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    I've booked in with a specialist councillor for childhood abuse. My mothers appalling behaviour aside, lately I've started feeling like something worse happened in my childhood, that I'm not being told about. Its strange. I feel like maybe this may be the lynchpin as to why me and my mother hate each other.
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    I've been through similar, White Poppy, and it's very unsettling and unpleasant but I do think doing 'something' about it is helpful, as tough as it is to do. I would just really urge you to be very kind to yourself whilst this is going on and perhaps put up on your wall (or on your phone, where ever suits) a list of healthy coping strategies and/or people you can call/visit when you want to. I only say this as I've generally found that stress of any kind has me reaching for my unhealthy coping methods and isolating myself and when I'm very stressed I seem to completely forget there are other alternatives so having it written down somewhere easy to see helps me.I've never had 'total recall' of childhood events. There are huge gaps in my memory and an awful lot of hazy stuff. There are photos of me at parties and school events that I've no memory of going to and people from school that I've bumped into over the years who I vaguely remember and they've been astonished that I've 'forgotten' them because apparently we were best mates at school and spent lots of time together. There's an awful lot of detail missing. I remember going to school but virtually nothing of what I learnt there (I got six or seven GCSEs so I must have learnt something).Like you, I fit the textbook 'abused child' in terms of my experiences through my late teens and twenties - many are similar to the things you mention. For a long time I thought I could only get better if I remembered everything. I've found that's not necessary. I'm still going through the healing process, I feel and I do feel more complete and whole as a person as time goes on. It's really good that you're seeing a specialist counsellor. A good counsellor, in my opinion, will listen more than they talk and will work at your pace, however slowly that might need to be. Do take good care of yourself and be patient; try to trust that your mind has protected you for all these years and will continue to do so, so try to let things take their natural course (even though that can be frustrating and unpleasant at times). I think you're doing a very brave thing xx
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    Ah found it! Moderator FriedOnion's Avatar
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    Nothing much to say Poppy other than best of luck. You're a strong person and can get through this. Don't push people away, if you don't want to share with everyone just tell them you're working through some issues and would appreciate their support even if you appear not yourself at times.
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    Didn't want to read without posting Whitepoppy. Cannot add anything more to the wonderful wisdom already posted above other than my heartfelt love and an extension of empathy and peer support in terms of coming to terms with our lives as traumatised people :heart: it's an awful lot like peeling layers off an onion but full and absolute respect to you for facing this and taking steps to work through it. Much love xxxxx
    If we are to heal the planet, we must begin by healing birthing.
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    One life, live it Bernie's Avatar
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    The fact that you have organised your thought processes enough to write what you did in the way that you wrote it tells me that you have already started on your journey. In fact more than just started, you are on your way.

    You know what you want to do, its just very scary, but you are in charge now, that much comes over very clearly. It will be cathartic even if its painful.

    You will find clarity, Im sure of it, but lots of love and support from us
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    Transcending whitepoppy's Avatar
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    Thankyou for your kind words, all of you. I got quite drunk last night and it all came tumbling out. I've just been experiencing some really strange things lately, since emailing my mother.

    In my email to her I wrote that I had tried to forgive her for my childhood, because I had heard that her father was abusive. (she asked when I did I find out about the whole 'sordid' affair, and then the email descended into insults, so clearly I triggered something in her.) Although she confirmed that the abuse she and aunt suffered was 'sordid', she didn't give much information, and as we will probably never speak again, I will, in all likelihood, never really know what went on. The parts that I know about are only down to my aunt getting drunk at a family wedding and losing her shit about it, I had, up until the email, nothing but family rumor to go on.

    So it feels strange. I figured something must have happened when I was young, as we used to get left with my grandparents alot, then when I was about 5, or 6, we stopped being allowed to go, my mother completely disowned them and my grandparents died shortly after. We didn't go the funerals. And I don't know if I even really want to know the full truth, but I feel its the least she owes me.

    I'm considering regression/ hypnosis, to get to the bottom of it, but I don't know how deep this particular rabbit hole goes, and I'm scared of what's at the end of it.

    All I know, is that recently, since the email, I have had nightmare after nightmare of being chased, and regular night terrors, including feeling like I'm being pinned to the bed.

    I think my brain has started pushing all this to a forefront, so that I can deal with it. But its frustrating to feel like my personality may have been vastly altered by a traumatic event, that I wasn't told about, even though it may have affected me directly. I guess I should feel angry, but I don't. I feel fairly resigned to it, because the depths of my family's darkness no longer shocks me. I just feel saddened by it all, and cheated out of a better life, by the people who were meant to be there for me.

    Thanks again for the lovely words, you really are a good bunch of folks on this forum xxx
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    Heavenly Creature
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    Though it may seem a cop-out for someone keen to confront their demons, there are cognitive techniques for dealing with the stress of traumatic events, such as "Havening technique", it may interest you. BTW I'm no expert! Good luck!
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    Originally Posted by Brynhyffryd
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    Though it may seem a cop-out for someone keen to confront their demons, there are cognitive techniques for dealing with the stress of traumatic events, such as "Havening technique", it may interest you. BTW I'm no expert! Good luck!
    I have never heard of it, but I will have a look into it, thankyou. I'm currently just meditating alot, which seems to help some. X

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    Originally Posted by whitepoppy
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    Thankyou for your kind words, all of you. I got quite drunk last night and it all came tumbling out. I've just been experiencing some really strange things lately, since emailing my mother.

    In my email to her I wrote that I had tried to forgive her for my childhood, because I had heard that her father was abusive. (she asked when I did I find out about the whole 'sordid' affair, and then the email descended into insults, so clearly I triggered something in her.) Although she confirmed that the abuse she and aunt suffered was 'sordid', she didn't give much information, and as we will probably never speak again, I will, in all likelihood, never really know what went on. The parts that I know about are only down to my aunt getting drunk at a family wedding and losing her shit about it, I had, up until the email, nothing but family rumor to go on.

    So it feels strange. I figured something must have happened when I was young, as we used to get left with my grandparents alot, then when I was about 5, or 6, we stopped being allowed to go, my mother completely disowned them and my grandparents died shortly after. We didn't go the funerals. And I don't know if I even really want to know the full truth, but I feel its the least she owes me.

    I'm considering regression/ hypnosis, to get to the bottom of it, but I don't know how deep this particular rabbit hole goes, and I'm scared of what's at the end of it.

    All I know, is that recently, since the email, I have had nightmare after nightmare of being chased, and regular night terrors, including feeling like I'm being pinned to the bed.

    I think my brain has started pushing all this to a forefront, so that I can deal with it. But its frustrating to feel like my personality may have been vastly altered by a traumatic event, that I wasn't told about, even though it may have affected me directly. I guess I should feel angry, but I don't. I feel fairly resigned to it, because the depths of my family's darkness no longer shocks me. I just feel saddened by it all, and cheated out of a better life, by the people who were meant to be there for me.

    Thanks again for the lovely words, you really are a good bunch of folks on this forum xxx

    It's so sad, I think the secrets around abuse are as damaging as the abuse itself, if not more in some cases. There's still a culture of victim blaming now but years ago it was even worse. I'm not trying in any way to defend your mum, White Poppy, as I remember your post a while back about some of the awful things she did, but I think you are probably right that it triggered something when you emailed and were frank and truthful about what you were aware of. Abuse can do terrible damage and then when it's hidden for so many years - well it's never a good combo, in my opinion. What I found hardest when I finally 'came out' about being abused was that everyone already knew and all anyone cared about was keeping it quiet and not causing embarrassment and upset. My mum really turned on me when I told her I wasn't keeping it to myself anymore - it's almost as if keeping the secret (and avoiding the reality of the situation, I suppose) is like a survival mechanism kicking in. I'd guess your mum still has a mass of unresolved issues relating to what happened to her and it's more manageable for her to attack you than it is for her to deal with them. It's very sad.

    I was advised against hypnosis as my therapist felt there's a danger of it pushing too much too quickly. She felt it was better to deal with things as they came up naturally rather than trying to make something happen. Everyone's different, hopefully you can have a good chat about it with your counsellor when you start seeing them. One thing I will say - and again, everyone's different - but when I first started trying to deal with everything I was desperate to remember everything and to know for sure exactly what had happened, where, when and how. Some bits became clearer but on the whole I've never remembered everything and to be honest I'm glad now I haven't and I don't want to anymore. I think it's possible to work through the feelings without remembering everything in your mind. Your body remembers things and holds onto shocks. I experienced the sort of physical flashbacks like the ones you mention for about two years - feeling like I was being pinned down, feeling a weight on my chest, awful stabbing pains, feeling like something was covering my mouth and I couldn't breathe. It's a horrible sensation but fortunately I was seeing a very good therapist at the time who helped me work through it; her feeling was my body was releasing the emotion and healing itself even though I couldn't attach an actual memory to the physical event. I worried for a long time about whether I was right about it all but eventually I accepted that I'd never know for sure but looking at other, more concrete situations, my step-dad is a piece of dirt and given that my life has been a text book example of what an abused child experiences I think it's highly unlikely that nothing happened.

    One nice thing that came out of working through all of it was that I remember more about my real dad, nice memories that I'd obviously shut away with all the bad stuff. That was great and made a big difference to me - there was one person who loved me in a normal way when I was a kid, it's just a shame he died when I was young. But having those few memories of fun and being carefree in amongst all the fear and rigidity is lovely. So you might find some nice bits as well (here's hoping). It's a tough road but I do think it's all worth it in the end xx
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    Peace Practitioner! Cobra's Avatar
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    Feeling for you right now WP.I received a book for Xmas,an autobiography about someone in the music industry who I have followed for years,and grew up with his music.The person who gave me this book,did so,in good faith,knowing how much I love this artist.However....(My twin also recieved the same book ironically enough?)this artist had a shocking childhood,which had been kept secret until he wrote the book.Reading this book has brought back awful memories of our own childhood,so much so we've both struggled to keep reading it.We're middle aged,and although the memories can't be erased,they don't usually surface unless someone mentions their own childhood or we read about child abuse.
    Both my parents have passed away,and tbh?Its easier to deal with now.My Dad died 20 yrs ago which was a blessing,and Mum died 2 yrs ago.I think as you become older,your childhood memories obviously get further away,and thats a good thing.You don't ever forget,but you process it all over time,and it becomes easier to deal with.I had a few months of councelling when I was in my early 20's and that helped alot actually.It was painful at the time,but it was also very healing.
    Do what you need to to heal yourself,be kind to yourself,and I hope you find some peace in your life.Thats very important xoxox
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    My childhood and youth was very much like yours, if you ever want to talk pm me and I'll send you my number, I'm better at talking than writing x


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    FORM FROM THE VOID Danann's Avatar
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    My Love And Healing Light To You WhitePoppy and Mahoosive (((Hugggs)))....To Help You On Your Journey....And Along The Way....

    And May The Moon Goddess Danu Always Love And Protect You And She Shine Down Upon You Whever You Be And Go ...Making You Always Walk And Bathe In Her Magical Light...Keeping Your Tippy Toe Steps Safe Snd Strong In Her Magical Powerful Light
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    )) xxxx
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    Ah found it! Moderator FriedOnion's Avatar
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    It's so sad how often this happens, it seems a fair few of our members have had similar experiences.

    Regarding the hypnosis Poppy, is it really something you want to re-experience? Could it not make things worse?

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    Originally Posted by whitepoppy
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    I read that sometimes your brain can supress shit until you can sort of cope with it, a disassociation from memory
    Yeah exactly this happened to a girl i used to be friends with back home. She suddenly remembered in her 20's that she had been abused by her grandfather....he was still alive and ended up being prosecuted for it. I remember her telling me that it was a terrible time for her and her family, but that she was glad she remembered and that it helped make sense of everything that had happened since then in her life.

    Good luck with it all x

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    One life, live it Bernie's Avatar
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    The thing is, once you open that little door in your head, the truth seeps out but once its out it loses its power over you. It can't hurt you any more, it then just a fact not a demon hiding in the darkness.

    Its not something you wish for but it is a cleansing process if you give it time.


    Be assured, this is the right thing for you to do.
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    Hi everyone, sorry for not replying, I had a bit of a terrible shift at work the other day, with a man threatening to kill himself on the forecourt whilst I was on a night shift, and cutting his arms and face up with a knife. It really shook me up, so I needed a few days to re-centre myself.

    Thanks for everyone's kind words and understanding, it really helps to know that so many people have walked this path and come out the other side, and that theres so much goodwill and love from you all.

    I really appreciate the support xxx
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    what an amazing thread this one is...........this post is pretty superfluous in comparison, but I came across the link and felt quite moved by it......might not be quite appropriate, so I hope it doesn't offend anyone:


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    Abandon ship. Duckman's Avatar
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    Hugs sista. It sounds to me that to some degree that you have working things out. It is your mother who badly needs therapy. She does not sound like she has made any attempt to reconcile with you. Maybe you could suggest to her that when her number is up, having unresolved issues could mean a slow lingering death rather than a quick one.

    Maybe you might find some more therapy in writing about you life experiences in a short story, maybe a novel or screenplay. Fictionalize the names of people an places. People who have been through unfortunate life experiences often come up with the best stories.
    We all lead different lives.
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    Every day on UKH I discover another tributary - where peeps full of love and compassion for the world and each other.........just so amazingly groovy.....restores your faith in humankind xxxxxxx
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    Abandon ship. Duckman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by whitepoppy
    There had always been rumors within my family that my grandfather was abusive, hence my mothers woeful attempt at raising us.
    My upbringing was all wrong as it was for my three sisters. We were taught by our then communist parents that laziness and procrastination to be virtues.

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    Originally Posted by Whitepoppy
    It turns out the rumors were true. The thing is, my youngest years were spent largely in their care, until my nan died, when I was about five. (my mother was at college at the time) my earliest memories about my childhood, is trying to hide, and being scared. I seriously have nothing but the most vague memory of my childhood. Apparently, according to various papers, this is common amongst people abused as children. Amongst with a whole massive tick list that I fall into, self harm when I was younger, promiscuity too early, eating disorder, depression, strange boundaries, an obsession with layering clothing, fear of the dentists, nail biting, skin picking, fear of being submerged in water/ getting face wet, early sexual behaviour, sensitive gag reflex, panic attack and night terrors to name but a few.
    My first boyfriend was 23 when I was thirteen, I didn't think it was weird, and couldn't understand why people were angry.
    This exemplifies why it is wrong to judge anyone, especially if you do not know their life history.
    We all lead different lives.

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