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#521135 05/16/09 04:52 PM
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Have you gone through the process of grieving because of the abuse you endured as a child? Please share how you got through the process so that others may benefit from your experiences. It's so important for us to know that we are not alone in the process. I look forward to hearing from each of you.

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My father almost died last year but lived. I was hoping the process would change him, but it didn't. He was already dead to me in so many ways. I hope a miracle occurs and my parents change. There is definitely a grieving process for what I never had and for what I may never have. I also grieve for them and their broken hearts and lives.

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lizk,
Sadly, many abusers do not change, even when given a second chance at life. I also grieve over what I never had and what I longed to have as a child. Thank you for stopping by the forum and sharing.

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I started grieving when my denial lifted and I relized I didnt really matter to them. I always thought they were just thoughtless or drunken. Its taken about 6 years to slowly detach. Its been really hard to let go. I went through all the phases. not sure which order. denial,shock,depression,anger,bargaining,hoping for change and around and around several times. now just trying to just stay away from them.

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freemenow,
A few weeks ago, I learned something about the grieving process from my therapist. She told me that often those who are grieving don't necessarily go through each phase, or stage, in a particular order. She said that we can go through all phases at once. I guess it depends on where we are at emotionally when grieving. I never knew this, but it has helped me so much to know that what I was feeling was valid.

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kelli, true! and when I say "went thru" I should have said "going thru" I am a little further in the process where as Im not so confused. they always blamed me. that im just sensitive. i felt less than. its kinda cut throat. like the weak are used as a whipping post. I couldnt grieve what i didnt understand to be a loss. wow!!! its been a really big eye opener!! i read a book this week called, After The Tears, reclaiming the personal losses of childhood. It has helped so much Im gonna read it again and again. trying not to fall back in the old groove. its so hard to move forward. i am determined!!

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freemenow,
I too am 'going through' the grieving process. It does take time to go through this particular process! I think I will have to get that book and read it as well!

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Kelli, It is an older book from the mid 80's or so. Hopefully you can find it. I would like to know if you do:) the authors are Jane Middelton-Moz & Lorie Dwinell. This book also showed me that alcoholic parent(s) and co-dependant dont nurture kids properly and our seperation phases are not completed therefore we dont mature at a normal rate. Its then hard to move forward and you cant go backwards. Meshing and dependancy can occur. In other words we are still children trying to get our needs met by our parents and or significant others. We need constant re-assuance but we just get critisizm. We dont feel whole. Our parents can control us emotional and they didnt even plan it. Thats where the inner child work helps alot. Im working on that! thank you so much.......hugs!

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I finally spilled my guts to my father yesterday.After trying to discuss how I feel, I was continually met with "Oh Jesus Christ" and "Your really having a bad day today aren't you" "You need help" "You got a problem" "Just because I don't want to talk about a book?" so on and so forth. After not letting his usual attempts shake me off the subject or make me cry, he changed his tactics from the guilt trip to the bullying to down right abusive and nasty. I spilled it all. The abuse, the drinking, the neglect. All of it. He told me I was crazy and it is all in my head. He denied his part in any of my childhood. He denied it all. He has selective memory. He then attacked me personally in any and every way possible. I met his attacks one at a time and threw it back to him. I finally said everything I felt. I always held back not wanting to hurt him. After seeing that he MEANT to hurt me I didn't care anymore. I told him that we don't have a healthy relationship and I don't want negative people in my life anymore. I told them I have no use for him or my mother and don't know why he even calls me. He had no answers, for himself or my mother. All the passive aggressiveness was validated in the things he said to me. I told him that they sucked as parents then and now. I told him to call me when he was willing to take responsibility for himself. He made fun of me for going to college, mocked my interests and marriage. Told me I was crazy and everyone thinks so. He was so hurtful and mean. I didn't cry. He made fun of my emotions and had no respect for me as a person or otherwise. I showed no mercy for him. I brought is all up, and told HIM to sleep with it for now on because I refuse too. I feel releaved. I am glad he and Mom are out of my life. I feel if they can't respect me, or even KNOW me that I can't be around them. They only bring out negative into my life. The unspoken rules are hell on me. My dad goes from Mr. Happy to Verbally Abusive and back again. He rules the roost and says and does as he pleases. If you refuse to play the game my brothers and mother will shun me. I don't want them in my life this way. I am sure he has stretched the truth and manipulated the facts to suit him as he repeats what happened between us over and over to all who will listen. Making it clear that I am off limits and anyone caught speaking to me will feel his wrath. I took his power away. I stopped playing. I only want to be notified of funeral arrangements for my parents from now on.

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notjustme,
While I am saddened to hear that he responded to as he did, it does not surprise me. Many abusers behave just like that. They don't want to hear what their victim has to say, especially when it becomes time for them (the abuser) to take responsibility for their previous actions. Most abusers will continue to make it the fault of their victim. It's all about power and control.

What you did was take his power away! I want to applaud you for standing up for yourself. I admire you. That is one thing I never did to my mother. I love my mother. She is no longer on this earth. While I do love her, I also wish that I had had the courage to confront her on her abusiveness both in my childhood years and my adult years, since the verbal and emotional abuse continued on into my adulthood. I was always too afraid to hurt her feelings. I longed to tell her how it affected me and my siblings. But, I never did and I will always regret that. Anyway, I commend you on your courage and your strength!


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Thanks so much for responding to my post. I have been checking to see if anyone would. I found this site accidentally and pray that it will help to heal me. I needed to hear what you had to say. I bought two journals today to write in over the next few months, days, years or however long it taks me, to write to my mom and dad. I plan on writing one for each of them. Maybe if I write about all my memories, good and bad I will feel better. I just feel like a damn is bursting inside me and I can't get it out fast enough. I am unsure if I will ever give it to eithter of them. I don't know if they will ever evolve enough to read it with an open mind. Most likely they will critisize, deny and make fun of it. I guess only time will tell. I can only help by writing about it, I will heal in the process.

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notjustme,
I'm so glad that you found this site. I hope that you feel welcomed here and that you feel safe enough to share what is on your mind and in your heart. There are several very supportive members on this forum.

When I first started to process through all the abuse I have endured in my lifetime, I began writing as a means of releasing and expressing what I was feeling. I learned some very valuable things while writing. I learned that writing is very therapeutic! Write in any fashion that makes YOU comfortable and helps you to process through it. If you have to write with cuss words, so be it. I have done that because it helped me to release the anger within me. Poetry was another method of writing that I chose. I also wrote down every memory that would pop up and that really helped me as well. I wrote down things that were said to me that hurt me. I wrote down incidents of when I was physically or sexually abused. I wrote it all down.

I also chose to draw. I would pull out the markers and crayons when my emotions were at their strongest and just draw whatever came to mind.

One of the things that I chose to do, during my process, was to take everything I wrote and drew to my therapist. I gave them all to her. Some of them were thrown away in her office and some were kept in a special envelope for a later time. Throwing them away was a means of my releasing it. I had gotten it out of me and put it onto paper. Then, I got rid of it. About one year later, I got the envelope back and looked through everything. It was very empowering to see how much I had grown and healed during that time. I then threw away that envelope.

These ideas may or may not help you in your process, but I thought I would share them with you. I hope they do help you. Please feel free to come here and share as much as you need to or want to. It's truly ok and I am here for you.

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Thank you so much for your support and suggestions. I am feeling a little better today. It gets easier each day. It was hard over the holiday. We went camping and I was only half with my family. The other half was wondering what was being said and done behind my back. I felt like I was fighting myself all weekend. "Don't think about them" and "Maybe I should call my brother and see if he is mad at me". Sounds kinda weird, I guess. Time will heal this and it won't be so hard to live without them. It will be easier because I was always feeling so wounded while trying to have the relationship I wanted with them. I finally came to my senses and stopped expecting them to ever be what I wanted to be. I had to give it alot of thought. I decided it would be better for me to stop pretending that I didn't hurt. I think the worst part of this is that my family refuses to validate my pain. It is REAL. No matter how they try to trivialize it.

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notjustme,
You're right - it is real. They may try to minimize it, but the pain is very real. I hope you are feeling better today. You are in my thoughts.

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Thank You. I appreciate your concern. It is so nice to know that I do have somewhere to turn. There is Alanon here, which I did for a while a couple of years ago, but it didn't help me to learn how to have a healthy relationship with my parents. It felt like I had to accept that I had no power to change it, but then what? Take more abuse? My dad would be nice one day and nasty the next. How do you deal with someone who gets so hostle with you just because you ask "what did you do today?" and get told " I told you yesterday I was going to the F%$#ing Doctor, Don't you F*&^ing remember?" That is the kind of treatment I get. While Mom doesn't talk to me on the phone. She says " I hate the phone" and repeats everything I say while she does talk on the phone so my dad can hear it too. She says I can email her. She lives 30 minutes away and has nothing to do with me. I am disabled after three back surgeries, a spinal disease and severe arthritis. I have a 5 and 6 year old and a bipolar/Asperger daughter who lives home now after three years in residential. They won't help me out by watching the kids because they say "we never had help". Yet My grandmother lived with us for a while and stayed over when mom was ill. Funny. We remember two distinctly different lives. I am sorry for rambling on. I am tired and was up late journaling about them and then couldn't sleep because I was so mad. Does it get easier? Part of me wants to give in and quit and just let them win, but I know it wouldn't be long before i felt this way again. I wonder if me being away will ever get my point accross?

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notjustme,
It does get easier, it really does. That's not to say that when you begin processing it is not hard, because it is very difficult. But, it does get easier. I encourage you not to quit. The process is worth it in the end. I'm sorry, forgive me for asking again, but I don't remember whether or not you have a therapist. It's so important to not go through the process alone. You need someone you can trust to walk with you as you process things. As for whether or not your being away will get your point across, I'm honestly not sure. They may recognize that you are not around, but most likely will not accept responsibility for why you are not around. It sounds to me like they just don't want to accept responsibility for their actions, unfortunately. But, that cannot stop you from finding healing. Keep processing, find that trusted individual, and I trust you will do just fine.

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I had a therapist for years. I discussed all the issues I had with my parents. It is not that they didn't help me understand that I WAS abused, it is that I couldn't resolve the problems with my parents becuase my parents refuse to take responsibility or even listen to me. They just continued interacting the way they alwys did with me. This is the first time I ever really just told them how I felt without caring what they think or do. My meds. cost alot of money because I don't have medicaid yet. So at the moment I can not afford a therapist. I am in the beginning of my own proccess I guess. I am no longer yoyoing back and forth to my parents out of fear of rejection. I have rejected them. It is one week today and I am feeling empowered. I got some books from the library dealing with abuse and hope they help. I am journaling which does help, but I still keep second guessing myself wondering if I am being unreasonable. I know that I am not. I am not used to being on the "outside". I know that if I bite the bullet and stick to it, I may finally find peace and forgivness toward my parents. I am so angry because while my parents were drunk I was sexually abused. Because it was by another child my parents don't think it counts. I didn't tell them everything that happend back then. They didn't know all the disgusting details. Later when I was a teen my brother dated her and stayed at our house. I was told to "get over it". Am I crazy or them? Another time I was sexually abused by a grown man they had over. Both times I had tried to tell my Mom but was shusshed away. She was busy drinking and I was annoying her. I talked to my best friend about it today and she agreed that I am doing the best thing by cutting them off since they never change. I am obesessing about this. I feel like an alcoholic who has quit drinking. Like my family is a terrible addiction. I keep telling myself one day at a time I will get through this. I keep myself occupied with my kids and husband but today is a bad day mentally. I am hormonal which doesn't help. My brother won't talked to me anymore and I feel like the lonliest person alive. However, I know if I get over this mountain I will find peace. I know I can survive. I just need support doing this. Thanks for listening to me. I need it. xoxox

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I couldn't have said it better. I am doing the same.

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justfor me - I am absolutely in awe of your strength and resolve to no longer be a victim. I applaud you. My father was abusive. I wish I had been able to say to him the things that you said to your father, but he died before I got that chance. My father died in 2002 and I had not spoken or seen him since 1984. He died in a vacant apartment in the projects in San Diego with nobody around. The state of CA had to cremate him and throw his ashes into the Pacific Ocean because no one claimed him. I'm sad to say that my first reaction was, that's what you get. Abuse is never okay. You are one very strong person. I commend you as well!

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notjustme,
Thanks for clarifying your position on whether or not you are in therapy. I hope that your medicaid comes through quickly so that you can get into therapy.

notjustme, I know how difficult it is. I really do. I was not as strong as you are though. You are very courageous. I tried, for a short time, to distance myself from my parents, but just couldn't do it. I felt guilty for wanting to do it and for doing it. Instead, I continued to tolerate the abuse behavior when my mother was drunk. You know...I loved my parents very much. I didn't 'like' them, but I loved them. I hope that makes sense. They were my parents. I longed to be close to them. As I grew older, my mother and I formed a relationship, but the past abuse was never brought up and when she was drunk, she would call me and trouble would start. I started making excuses for not continuing the conversation, anything to end the call. I just couldn't take it anymore.

My mother died two years ago. I truly wished I had had the courage to do what you did. I wish I could have sat down with her and just talked it through with her...just to get an acknowledgement. But, that never happened. She became very ill two years ago with COPD and for nearly 4 months she was in hospice. In the beginning, when she was hospitalized and in respiratory distress, she would beg for us to bring her a drink. She was in withdrawals from years of drinking. She never really came out of that state. My sisters and I would try to explain to her that she couldn't drink in the hospital. Sometimes she would get downright nasty and for me, that was really hard because it took me back in time to when I was a kid. Then, when I felt upset with her while she was sick, that would lead to guilt. She began to deteriorate andt here was no chance that we would ever have that talk. Instead, I would sit by her bedside, watch t.v. with her, tell her I loved her, and try with all my heart to get past her nastiness. That was one of the most difficult times in my life.

I think that's why I told you that I commend you on what you have done. You have done what many survivors of child abuse long to do -- you have confronted your abusive parent. That is no easy task, but you stepped out in courage and you did it. Continue to stand strong, you are doing well!

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Thank you mysoneedshelp and Kelli. I really appreciate you sharing with me your stories. My father is sick as well. He has copd and a non-vascular auto-immune disease. He has to go for blood transfusions now and he has had previous strokes and heart surgery. Still he continues to talk to me like I am scum, when he in a bad mood. Yet gives me money at other times for me and my kids and tells me he loves me. I am confused by his behavior and saddened. I am sorry I confronted him and not sorry at the same time. I feel guilty because he is sick now, and my family hates me for making it "all about me". I just don't see it that way. I went to the hospital and have many times with him. I have sat silently and supported him. I have gotten him audio books to listen too on my kindle, which at firt he liked then poo pooed it and said he would just read the paper. I always feel like I can't love him enough for him to respect me. I love him so much. More than he will ever know. But I don't like him at all. I know what you mean by loveing them but not liking them. I can't help it that I confronted him when I did. I have chronic pain and am on fentanyl and other meds. I have had my share of problems as we all do. My problems never matter to them, they are never important enough for them to acknolegde. It is almost like dad enjoys his illness for the power it gives him. I have always loved my father more than my mother as strange as that may sound. He abused me, physically and emotionally, they neglected us out of ignorance and I try to understand it. Dad atleast talked to me when he was in the right frame of mind. I believe he tried his best to be a good father, but repeated the abuse he received as a child himself. I think in his mind he did better than his dad so he can't understand why I feel this way. Mom was a drunk who functioned highly. Kept the house in order, fed us, did wash and basically was a robot. She has never emotionally been there for me and for that I am so angry and hate and love her at the same time. I find myself questioning wheather or not I was abused. I know I was. I just want to end this struggle that nobody can see. I was slapped, hit with a belt,drug through the house by my hair, slapped across the face with his hand and a belt once. I was emotionally and verbally abused as well. Never by my mom. She was just oblivious to it. Her mom was a terrible drunk and she was molested as a child and never received help. Her first husband was killed in Vietnam and her mom died almost the same time. My dad is a vietnam vet too, who has used his "get out of jail free card" with that all the time. Whenever I complained about how they treated me it always went back to how much they lived through. I was and am still made to feel guilty because of this. I am having a really hard day and am fighting myself not to make any contact with them because it will just go back to the same thing again. I don't want that relationship anymore. I don't know how to "fix" this. I am the black sheep. I feel like I am going through withdrawel by not talking to them. I know you feel I am coragious and strong, but I feel so fragile and weak. I am working on letting go and letting God. I am afraid they will die before we ever get this resolved. That is the guilt that drives me toward them again. My bestfriend told me that that is out of my control. She is right. However, it is so hard when you love and hate someone. It is a terrible feeling that I wish to God would go away. I made my mind up that each day, I tell myself the same things alcoholics say, today I will stay away from my parents. (not have a drink for today) because it is too hard to look much farther in the future. I hope this makes sense. What are any thoughts on this? Do I sound irrational?

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notjustme,
Correct me if I'm wrong, but it is my understanding that adult children of alcoholics are not taught to necessarily stay away from their alcoholic parents, but to use "tough love" with them. It seems as though you are tremendously torn at your decision to not have any part to do with your parents because it seems that you really and truly love them. I guess at this point, you would need to ask yourself if staying completely away from them is in your best interest. I am certainly not trying to add confusion to your life. It just seems that perhaps you can use tough love with them. Maybe you can go and visit them and once they start in with the abusive behavior, simply get up and tell them that you will not stay there with them if they continue to behave as they are at that moment. And then leave. Then repeat the process. Perhaps it will show them that while you will not tolerate their abuse any longer, you do love them. Do you think this will work better for you? Again, I am not trying to bring confusion into your life, I'm just looking at the situation from the outside window, so to speak.

You talk of times when your father is really nice to you and talks with you. Is it possible that if you go to visit them, there will be moments such as this that you can gather as a jewel in your life and cherish that particular memory of time spent with him? Again, if he begins to verbally abuse you, you are free to leave, sending him a clear signal that you will not subject yourself to his abuse any longer.

Please let me know what you think of this.

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You are correct I am tremendously torn. I have tried the tough love approach and kept them at a distance. I tried to keep the situation managable. However my father is an "all or nothing" kind of guy. I started ignoring his phone calls which are several times daily, because he wants to know "every" aspect of my life. Where I am what happened etc. He wants a blow by blow description of my day. I find it way too intrusive. After being told that he doesn't like my husband, who has done absolutly nothing to deserve this. He is a plumber and has dropped everything every time they needed something fixed or replaced. He has never charged them and paid for any and all parts himself. Totaling several thousands of dollars. My parents are mad that I owe them $700. I haven't been able to pay them in the last few months, now they want colateral to hold. I am very affended by this. I was told to come visit without my husband. I tried to do the alanon tough love, but my father just will not have it. He becomes more and more spiteful and abusive. It finally came to a head when he destroyed long standing plans for my mom and I to go out and eat alone without him at a restaurant for my birthday. He just is like a bull in a china shop and runs right through my feelings, bounderies and requests. The only option I was left with was walking away. I feel terrible about it because although i was prepared to do it, I really didn't want to. I am glad I followed through, but I resent the fact that he didn't give me much of a choice. I wish I could enjoy the times in which he was "decent", but I feel it was his decision to continue his bad behaviors that drove me away from any of the enjoyable parts. It is a control issue with him. He ups the anty when he doesn't get what he wants. I am mourning the loss of contact. For that I feel bad, but I don't miss the abuse. I flip flop back an forth. I think that is part of what i must experience until I get stronger and used to this. I miss them. I love them but hate how I am treated. I know that it is going to take much more than 9 days to heal 35 years. It is going to take them a very long time to "get it".

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notjustme,
It sounds as though you are doing the right thing. It sounds like you have obviously tried the tough love approach and your father continues to insist having control over your life. Please do not give them anything for collateral. I think if it were me, I would remind them of the many times my husband has fixed things for them and covered the cost out of pocket. I realize that it probably won't mean anything to your father, but I would have a hard time not reminding him of the help I provided. But, that's just me. However, I'm not sure that's a good idea for you either, since your father seems to be all about control.

I am genuinely sorry about all that you have had to endure over the years from your father. It is so troubling. You have obviously come a long way and I am so proud of you for standing your ground and taking care of 'you!' I am so proud of you. Continue to stand strong, my friend.

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It has been two weeks since I blew up with on my father. I am no longer angry and now I am just depressed. I am not sure if this is part of grieving or not. I have a painful condition called chronic fatigue immune difficientcy and fibromayalgia on top of haveing 3 back surgeries for spinal stenosis. Yesterday I couldn't even get out of bed. I cried so much because I needed someone to help watch my three kids. My hubby can't take anymore time off and I really don't have any other kind of support. This is exactly how my parents kept control over me. When they did grace me with some respite. So I always had to kiss their feet and take the abuse hoping they would toss me a bone here and there and help. It really doesn't matter because nothing is different. If I was talking to them I would be told I was interfering with their plans and to suck it up. I just feel very depressed. Does anyone else relate or am I on my own?

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notjustme,
I can relate and yes, I was told by my therapist that depression is a normal phase of the grieving process. I can understand how stuck you must feel because my sister also has fibromyalgia and can only work part time because of it. I can't imagine having that plus having small children. Do you have any friends that can help you out during this health crises?

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No, my friends all work. I just need to suck it up and pray that september comes quickly. This year my youngest starts kindergarten. If I have an episode of cfids I can rest without worry. I am feeling less depressed but I still feel bad. I guess it will get better over time. I am learning about being codependent, which I am. I feel like my whole world has gotten shaken around as I try to ajdust to a whole new way of thinking and detaching from my family. I will continue to learn as time goes on.

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notjustme,
I am here for you if you need someone to talk with or just need to vent.

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I am feeling much better since my initial shock of confronting my Father. I appreciate all the help you guys have offered. I have been reading about codependency and it is helping me very much. Any advice about codependency is needed.

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notjustme,
I'm happy to hear that the people on this forum have encouraged you in some way. I will try to write an article on codependency soon. Again, I am here for you.

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