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2 years ago  ::  Oct 24, 2011 - 11:14PM #1
Dylan
Posts: 3
Hi all,
I hope you can give me some guidence. I have an awful relationship with my family. I don't speak with my mother anymore because of the emotional abuse and neglect she inflicted on me as a child. I have two older sisters that I don't really know; they are ten and thirteen years older than me, and we never got to know each other. I'm not very close to my dad. He was more of the provider type rather than the kind of dad one goes to for emotional support. I suffer from low self-esteem and find it to be harder and harder to stop the negative thoughts I tell myself. I do have one really great friend, who is like a brother to me. I know he's there for me no matter what. It's just that he doesn't understand my depression, that I would even be depressed when I put on a stiff upper lip when I'm around others. But inside I'm a mess.
I am worried that I'll never really get to know the real me. I worry that I'll never find love. Even as I type this I realize how silly that sounds: rather like self-pity, but it's real fear for me.
Any sage advice you have for me will be appreciated.  
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 25, 2011 - 12:14AM #2
JoyceB53
Posts: 2,150

Hi, Dylan,

Even tho I'm sorry that your problems caused you to seek out this board, I'm glad to meet you, and hope that you stay around.   One thing you can do is to post on the first thread here, "The Front Desk," where a lot of us touch base every day, cheer each other on, etc.

Sadly for you, I guess, I don't have any sage advice to give you.   Hopefully there will be others that will, tho...another reason I suggested that you post on the Front Desk thread.  The more you post, the more people will see it and be able to respond to it.

One thing you can do is to start what Therese Bourchard, who writes the blog "Beyond Blue" here on beliefnet, suggests to do for low self-esteem.  Simple:  Start a self-esteem file.  Any time someone says something good about you, write it down, and stick it in your file...she uses a file folder, if I remember right.  Did the boss give a written job review that spoke well of you?  Stick it in the folder.  If you want to learn more about it, go the Blogs part of b'net and look for Beyond Blue, and then search for "self-esteem."  She goes into it in a lot more depth than I am.

So, stick around, post with us on Front Desk, and start that folder.  Good luck to you.

Today is the day that the Lord hath made; we shall rejoice and be glad in it.

---Psalm 118:24
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 25, 2011 - 1:03PM #3
Frobisher
Posts: 4

Dear Dylan,


I am so sorry that you are going through what you are. Depression is deeply painful and often paralyzes us. But you have come to the right place...pretty much everyone here has experienced (or is experiencing) depression and you will not be judged. We all know the depths of despair you feel, and we know them up-close and personally.


It sounds like you are completely bereft of support from your family. This is heart-breaking to me, as I see family as my most stable, dependable refuge. On the positive side, you have found a true brother in a friend, and that is so very rare. You must be a special person indeed to have found someone like that. I think he is just as special. Perhaps you could think about how important and rare your bond is. Despite his lack of understanding depression (if you've never had it, you can't truly understand it) you have expressed that he loves you without measure. How lucky you are to have that!


I must echo Joyce's wise words and urge you to start that esteem folder. What a terrific idea. It's so easy to forget the good things about us when we feel overwhelmed. A friend of mine is an evolutionary psychologist. He explained to me years ago that the reason why we focus on the negative is due to our reptile brains. You could work with 50 people in a room...49 could give you glowing reviews and a standing ovation, but that one person who feels negative about you will stick in your mind for days, weeks or months. The reason has to do with survival. In our early days, when we lived in tribes, having the support of all of your tribal members was important. Being banished from a tribe (because you have too many enemies within) was a death sentence, because it was so hard to survive on one's own.


I commend you on having the courage to come here and open up to a world of strangers. That's something you can add to your esteem folder.


All the very best,


Jimm


 

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2 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2011 - 1:36AM #4
karbie
Posts: 3,304

Dear Dylan,


If you are feeling something, trust me when I tell you that no one here will think it is "silly" if it causes you pain. A lot of men were raised to believe that as long as they provided the money to feed, clothe, and house his family that was all that was necessary. If you paid you bills on time, that meant you were a good spouse, father and good employee everyone was supposed to assume it passed for love. (Then there was the King of the Castle, which meant you were not to be questioned and got things done Your Way. End of discussion.)


I'm so sorry that you were abused by your mother. Your sisters were basically just a decade older so you don't have as much in common. Even though I shared a room with my older sister from the day I was brought home from the hospital until the day she married, we really had parallel childhoods with the same cast of characters as far as relatives were concerned. One very freeing thing my mother told us was that while we were supposed to love our family member because they wereour blood relatives, we didn't have to like them. Liking had to be earned. Whether we actually respected a teacher or a relative, we were to treat them with the respect their position as our elders deserved. I really had to use that one with my son.


Verbal abuse wasn't even considered to be abuse--yet those are the things that sink in the deepest and we can't forget. We all have a tape player replaying all of the words that cut us to our souls. I've tried to make an effort to report when a child did something well. Lord knows everything wrong gets pointed out. Years ago I ran the Sunday School at my church and we had a brother and sister pair who had really outgrown the Children's Chapel. I couldn't let them do what they really wanted--run amok in downtown Indianapolis. One day when the eldest boy had been impossible I finally wrote his father a letter, suggesting that it was time to take them upstairs to church with him. That lasted about 2 weeks, then they got dumped back in my lap. A few months later we had a few new children who had turned 3 and were now in Chapel instead of playing with toys in the Nursery.I was amazed because Michael had been so patient, not hitting back, etc. So I sent home notes that day to both boys fathers. Michael, Sarah, and their cousin came in the following Sunday, smiling, happy, and excited. Their father took me aside to tell me just how much that note prasing his son had meant to him, and that he had put it in his scrapbook. I thought it was only fair--if I wrote home about behavior that wasn't acceptable, it was only right to send a note home when he had been exceptionally good.


He had taken the children out to lunch, a movie, and ice cream after the movie. I told a friend that when I had been monitoring some children on the computers, the only person in the whole room who did exactly what the teacher had told them to do was her daughter. Everyone will tell you about something you've either done wrong--or "done wrong" because your way of doing things was different than theirs. As for me, I got some monster hugs out of the deal. I also enjoyed seeing my friend look like someone had lifted a weight off her back for a few minutes.


It's not that I'm so 'wonderful"; it's just something I hadn't thought was fair as a child. My least favorite comment "Is not working up to her potential". Says who? No one discussed it with me, or said, you need to do thus and so to improve. Fortunately, my parents basically ignored that, but it went into my "When I grow up I'm not going to do that" mental file. No matter how long ago or how often someone used negative comments about you doesn't make them true. It's not being disloyal to anyone to let go of them or delete them from your thoughts, heart, and soul. You never deserved to have anything that still hurts from your childhood said in the first place.


I'm glad that you found your way here to beliefnet and especially to the people on the depression forum. They are my support group, therapy group, and electronic "family of choice". And we do support each other, accept each other warts and all, and don't sit in judgment on each other or anyone new. Welcome home, Dylan.

"You are letting your opinion be colored by facts again."
'When I want your opinion, I'll give it to you."
these are both from my father.
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2 years ago  ::  Oct 26, 2011 - 12:29PM #5
joycon
Posts: 2,781

Welcome, Dylan. So sorry you feel so alone. Hang around, this is a good place.

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2 years ago  ::  Nov 03, 2011 - 2:51PM #6
MarleneEmmett5
Posts: 1,694

Oct 24, 2011 -- 11:14PM, Dylan wrote:

Hi all,
I hope you can give me some guidence. I have an awful relationship with my family. I don't speak with my mother anymore because of the emotional abuse and neglect she inflicted on me as a child. I have two older sisters that I don't really know; they are ten and thirteen years older than me, and we never got to know each other. I'm not very close to my dad. He was more of the provider type rather than the kind of dad one goes to for emotional support. I suffer from low self-esteem and find it to be harder and harder to stop the negative thoughts I tell myself. I do have one really great friend, who is like a brother to me. I know he's there for me no matter what. It's just that he doesn't understand my depression, that I would even be depressed when I put on a stiff upper lip when I'm around others. But inside I'm a mess.
I am worried that I'll never really get to know the real me. I worry that I'll never find love. Even as I type this I realize how silly that sounds: rather like self-pity, but it's real fear for me.
Any sage advice you have for me will be appreciated.  



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Dylan:
Hi,my names Marlene.
I've read your post and I can sympathise with you.
I'm a suffer of Emotional Abuse & Physical Abuse at the hands of my dad.
The emotional Abuse began at the age of six when my parents found out
that I had Epilepsy. It sunk my father's world in a way.

I was adopted at birth,given up by my birth mom cause she wasn't married.
My real dad skipped out on my birth mom in the first trimester.
Now my parents were a loving Jewish couple who couldn't have children.
everything was wonderful the first years of my life till I began to drop stuff at age 5.


After the diagnosis my Father told my mom these word that still sting today:
"I will take you to any doctor's appointments,pay for any medication the child needs
But I don't want to know her, I can't "
How do you think I felt at then?~ This was the person I looked up to.
he was MY DAD, the only one I ever knew and he was abandoning me,
closing off his heart. that happened 47 years ago and I'm going to tell you this
IT still hurts and I'm emotionally scared by this.
I was an only child.

Another way he emotionally scarred me was he'd tell me I'd never amount to anything.
He did this by telling me I was stupid,fat and lazy.
I also got that from teachers who never really took an interest in me.
The other person who i know she didn't mean it but did it was my mom.
She loved me but had this thing of comparing me to her sister's kids who all got
great marks in school and were A students.


Now getting back to you, I understand about your low self esteem.
I'm a major sufferer.
When I was a teen I went looking for love where I could find it.
And I did~ I fell hard for a fellow classmate of my while I was in HighSchool.
That was 42 years ago, and we're still close.

He suffers from Clinical depression,and Low Self esteem also.
But we also share something~we share a son, who I aborted 38 years ago.
Now I was forced to abort him by my Father.
I wasn't even given a chance to give my son up for adoption.

This has crippled me and it's also made me have such a hatred towards my dad
it's not funny. And I didn't even tell my former lover about it for 37 years!
I couldn't hurt him that way so I chose to keep quiet  and suffer alone.

If you need to talk to anyone I'm here, I've got huge shoulders to cry on.

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