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Writhing in pain.


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Hey all -


I'm new to these forums. Lately I have been doing a lot of much-needed work with a good therapist. I am only nineteen years old, but the pain from my past is so severe that I can hardly function at times and am having to leave school until I can work this out.


Sometimes the only way for me to feel better is to let more people know about what happened to me.


When I was young, I was raised in a wealthy home. My father was a surgeon and hundreds of people in our small town used to come up to me, my sister, or my mother to tell us how personable and caring my father was to them. "He saved my life and took care of me. You're lucky to be his daughter."


I'd nod and say "thank you, I know."


But behind closed doors things were much different.


Starting from a very young age my father used to stop speaking me for minor offenses. One Sunday afternoon I dropped a carrot in his car and for that he put me in my room for days. I was only six or seven years old and I remember feeling so trapped and disoriented. I was already a sensitive child who had a lot of anxiety and this made it exponentially worse. This happened more times than I can count. My father rarely talked to me and would spend almost every day working even though we had enough money.


At first I'd be in my room for a few days, but then he started to worsen my punishments as I grew older. He would put me in there for weeks at a time starting in fourth grade. I was "allowed" to go to school but the moment I came home I had to go up to my room. He told me if I told anybody what was happening he would break my neck, and that family matters were private and that even if I did tell people they would ridicule me for exposing private matters.


Whenever he put me in my room I would cry and moan for hours on end. Nobody ever came and put me out of my misery. My mother would sit back and watch or just tell me she doesn't know why he does that. He would tell people in my family they weren't allowed to speak to me, so when I was in my room my sister would try to sneak a round of cards or something just to reach out. But when he found out that was happening he would then put her in her room as well for prolonged periods of time.


I was such a bright and intelligent child, but as time went on my natural curiosity shut down. I worked so hard in school and made it to a top university but I was so distracted by my home life that I retain very little of that information and I have very few intellectual interests right now.


My father is from Lebanon. I was already a very shy child who had exceptionally hard times making friends. But on top of that he would tell me that if I didn't speak Arabic and "act like an Arab" he wouldn't be my father anymore. What acting like an Arab meant, I had no idea, because I was already socially awkward in America to begin with. The Arabic lessons with him were so intimidating that I couldn't actually learn because I was too anxious to retain the information. When I got vocabulary words wrong he would drag me into my room and close the door and throw the book at me. I'd throw fits and beat at the door because I was so upset and confused.


I'm a female. Starting at the age of about 12, though I weight about sixty pounds, he would make remarks about how I was looking more fat. My mom would say "maybe it's just the shirt she is wearing," and I'd be forced to change my shirt over and over until I could prove that it was in fact that collar of my shirt that made me look fat. I now have an eating disorder.


Anytime anybody in the house ate any food that was not particularly healthy he would become angry at us and throw it away. We had to hide food that he didn't like.


I was fourteen when I was trapped in a war zone in Lebanon. It was extremely traumatizing to me. When I got back to the states, my father didn't express that he was happy we were home really. Then a few months later I told him not to call my mother fat, and he got so volatile and stopped talking to me for an entire year. He was waiting for me to apologize but I wouldn't. The more time went by the worse it got. He would spit on me and tell me that if it wasn't illegal he would have beaten me and thrown me to the streets, but that it would make him look bad as a doctor. He would tell me that if he was in a room I wasn't allowed to enter. So half of the time I was not allowed to sit and watch TV with my family or eat dinner with them. At one point during the year-long shun I won a piano competition and my sister's friend bought me a cake that said "good job, Mozart." He threw it away. I was just a kid.


What I just wrote are only some of the memories I have. There are hundreds like this. These things have erupted inside of me and I don't know how to handle these emotions. I have lost so much because of him. I have spent so much mental power dealing with these games he played, and I withdrew from many friendships as a teenager because of the extreme depression I faced. Nobody ever helped me. I'm not ready for adulthood because I never had a proper childhood. How can I ever handle this pain?

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I read your post last night via my mobile phone, so didn't answer right away.


There is so many feelings and pain that you expressed that reminded me of myself when I was your age. I remember feeling such overwhelming hurt, sadness, pain that I would literally want the world to just open me up and swallow me whole. I wanted to die. I would just curl up in a ball and submit the inner agony.

It is funny, because the pain you describe, I can relate too, but my circumstances were different.


My mother is from Bangkok Thailand, and for as long as I can remember she was very open in her abuse and hatred. She had been cursing me out since the day I was born. Where your dad was silent, she was loud. She would throw things, hit me, scratch me up with her nails, hit me with her high heels. My father is a good man, but he is a Vietnam Veteran that has psychological demons of his own. He was drunk most of the time. Growing up , God blessed me in that I was bright and keenly aware of the dysfunction that was going on.. I knew what was happening to me was not normal. As a child I was confused. Wasn't my mother suppose to love me? Isn't that my birthright? She didn't even pretend to love me. My father would joke sometimes, "when you were born, I would give two bottles at night and in the morning both would be empty." So its like I was taking care of myself since the day I was born. Everyone thought my mother was so beautiful. At school , I was always famous for being the girl with such a beautiful mother. As I got older, things were worse. I ran away several times. Once I took a bunch of pills I found to kill myself but I ended up throwing up all night and I guess my parents thought I had stomach flu. l. She tried to get me out of the house several times by calling the police on me. I started standing up to her. I did not hit her, but I began to hold her arms. I grew taller than her. Outraged , that she could no longer physically abuse me, she resorted to not speaking to me except to call me a slut or bitch. The most outrageous thing , she did, -and this was hard for me to talk about for years - is she began to accuse me of trying to seduce my father. She actually lied to police officers and a social worker that the police appointed about this. She would call the police on me everytime we fought, and ask them to take me away, but my father would interfere or follow the police car all the way to juvenile. Once a police officer who had been called to my house several times told me "Your mother is jealous of you, you know that right? Your american, you speak english, your smart, your younger, and your more beautiful. You are everything she is , except better." His words were magical to me, because he was the first one who provided me with a logical explanation as to why she hated my guts. When I was 19 , she would throw me out and this time I didn't let my father bring me back. Strangely, it was my final departure that led my father to stand up to her, physically. I would learn later my leaving the house sent my father into severe depression that he would not recover from for 10 years. however, it also made him stop drinking. He realized that he had been drunk for my entire life.


And so I told you only some, of like you said, is YEARS of abuse. So many incidents that are too many count. So much pain that is so deep and so overwhelming to deal with.


But do we have to be permanently damaged? I don't think so. First, I think healing comes from deep inside. We have to allow ourselves to heal and to tell ourselves that we really don't have to forgive anyone. It's something I read a book once about emotional abuse. It said that many people don't heal because they think they can't unless they forgive their abusers. However, its not true. We dont have to forgive them and we can still heal.


We must recognize that we are valuable human beings who ARE worthy of being loved. We can seek therapy, read self-help books and join support groups.


I am 37 now. I lead a blessed life. My mother, as she has gotten older , reaches out to me and tried to make like everything was in my head. At times she has made attempts at apology by stating "I never had a mother, I didn't know how to be a mother " ( her own mother abandoned her with relatives when she was four). I can say that I am not angry with her anymore. I feel sad for her. I feel sad that imposed on herself such a miserable life and existence. However, I don't have to continue the cycle of abuse. I do have a relationship with now and the main reason is because of my father. He's old and I dont want to upset him. But I didn't talk to her at all for about 7 years.


Oh, and another coincidental thing - I married a man from Lebanon. He is a good man and a good father. He used to tell me that I was like the flower that grew out of a pot of dirt.


And that's what you are, too. You are a valuable human being. You are strong and capable of rising above this.


Here is an article that helped me.


Edited by coffeecat
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You poor poor girl - I'm so very sorry you had to go through all of that. Your father had and likely still has some very severe mental issues and it was horribly unfair that you had to be subjected to them. *Hugs* I'm so so sorry, you didn't deserve it.


I'm glad you're in therapy though (I am too :bunny:) --- my father was distant and a workaholic, but my mother was an untreated schizophrenic... very hostile and... utterly nuts. You wrote that you were confined to your room --- so many times I was as well... it's terrifying to be little and to feel abandoned and unwanted and unloved... and then to be mistreated the few times that you're "allowed" out... I experienced that until I was nearly 12, because by then my mother was just unable to "control" me (although she DID throw me in my room and barricade it a few times, when I was having some major panic attacks and she didn't want to deal with them heh).


I'm still learning how to handle everything myself and I'm 26 now. I do know it'll take more time. It'll take time for you too. There are years of damage, so I try to understand that it'll at least take years to counter them too. And that's okay... it gets easier as time goes on, and there is wisdom to be found within it all.


As a child I also excelled academically --- but in the end it amounted to nothing (in my eyes) and I was also unable to maintain it......... in your situation, it was to be expected. It's "normal", your home-life was traumatizing and it didn't support a healthy environment for you to grow in. You're obviously still very intelligent, now you just have to continue on the path of overcoming all of the emotional damage that has been wrought upon you. This wasn't your fault, but the good news is you can take control of your life. It CAN be done. You CAN come out from the nightmare. You deserve to. It will hurt, God ever does it, but it can change into something better. Seek hope. It's okay if you're not ready for adulthood -- that is to be expected! Please try not to be hard on yourself, you've been through so much.


Where do you live now? Have you been able to get away from your father?

Edited by OnyxSnowfall
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