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Childhood Trauma; Trying to Figure out Why

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ShockedErica11 posted 8/22/2013 11:20 AM

So, I got triggered by a song, but maybe it’s a good trigger?

SZA – “Julia”, and it’s a weird trigger.

I don’t have an appoint with my IC for a while, and the only reason why I haven’t looked at another one is because my first meeting with her was an extremely good one; she kind of “got me” right off the bat without me having to explain a scientific process to her (she used the word “data” in terms of how I process and gather information; I swooned). Anyway, I got triggered by the song and a specific stanza so it’s been a rollercoaster of sorts for the last 24 hours; WARNING: I have a tendency of writing “books” so this post might get long.

Like I said, I don’t have my IC appointment so I need opinions or insight or 2x4’s or something. I’m stumbling onto a “why”, or an answer to one: why did I have an affair? This question prompted me to do a little investigation into my past: I went to astrology, looked up some info, and my childhood slowly began to take shape and form: It was a very delusional, chaotic childhood. It was wrought with confusion, children switching roles with the parents, and I’m only just NOW realizing how much that has affected my adulthood. And I’m angry. Incredibly angry at my parents for what happened.

I am CSA, and I realize that I have issues with helping people that stem from that aspect of my childhood. I was very young and my young brain – as I’m beginning to shape and look and examine my past – could not understand what was happening so I’m thinking I put it in the simplest terms I could understand: Dad was “sick”; I was “helping”. I talked to WH about this last night and he provided some insight as well because he’s observed me “shut down” after friends or family have overstayed their welcome at our home. And I do, I literally just shut down and retreat. Because after a while, I get incredibly resentful of “helping” these people who I consider like my family, and I feel guilty because I shouldn’t feel like I shouldn’t help them. But I remember that even when I was “helping” my Dad, I felt so much despair that a kid at that age shouldn’t have felt. I felt so sad a lot of the times because my brothers got to go out and play and I was stuck inside. I’d look out the window and it’d be an amazingly beautiful day outside but the house always seemed so dark and I remember just wanting to escape and get out.

Speed forward to now, and there’s the affair that WH had, and the amount of rage that I have, and how cheated I feel: he got to go out, have a girlfriend, got to experience an extension to his 20s and I got stuck at home with responsibilities, but I allowed it: I felt like he had such a hard life, he was so sad and pathetic (not being insulting with this) sometimes and that he was scrambling to find his place in the world, so I was “helping” by giving him his freedom to do as he pleased, allowing him the ability to find his passions and his purpose. But at the same time, I was resentful. I was bitter. I was angry. I was a seething volcano because *I* wanted to be free. I wanted to go out and experience life. I wanted to escape and LIVE.

So, I see it as this: my inner child literally broke and that this was the last straw. I’d been “doing” so much for people and getting taken advantage of; I had “sacrificed” so much and “THIS” betrayal had to happen. Why did someone do this to me again? Why did someone hurt me again? I walked the straight and narrow. I did what I was supposed to do (whatever that was) and I got kicked in the teeth. So, the inner child got angry, got tired of being responsible. Got tired of being trampled on. So, in a sense of false bravado and trying to “control” the situation that went wildly out of control, I cheated. I did something that was stupid and dumb and what I thought was empowering because I was striking back at the injustice; I was kicking WH in the teeth because I’d been kicked in the teeth. I was kicking my father in the teeth because “HA! Look! I’m finally FREE! I’m finally doing something that *I* want to do and it’s all about *me* this time; It’s not about *you*; it’s not about what *you* want or what I’m “forced” to do: I chose it. I picked it. I have “control” over it.”

Only, it’s false bravado because it wasn’t control or even remotely what I needed. It made me feel horrible and worse because it still HURT. I can’t take the freedom home with me. I can’t escape reality all the time. I can’t get away from the hurts and the pains. I can’t get away from the responsibilities that exist. They’re still there when I come back from “fantasyland”; and so, the more responsible adult in me bulldozed fantasyland because you are an adult; you are not a child, and children should not do stupid shit.

But she’s still angry and still fighting the adult me tooth and nail because the old childhood hurts are here and rearing their ugly head. This situation mirrors my parents’ marriage too much. Talking to WH, he says that he seems to mirror both my parents in that he mirrors my father by “forcing” me to take on the burden of responsibility and then simultaneously mirrors my mother because she essentially “abandoned” her children to my father’s wrath but made herself out to be the dutiful martyr that endures immense pain and suffering for her children’s sakes. Hell, that might be more my personality as well. Bears some thought.

Alright, SI. Thoughts?

20WrongsVs1 posted 8/22/2013 12:58 PM

No specific advice, but I'll reply because I can relate, it took me raining destruction down on my M to realize how deeply I'd been damaged by childhood trauma. CSA survivor, for 20+ years I dissociated to deal with the trauma, regularly escaping to daydreams. Fantasyland; which I brought into the corporeal realm with my As.

HA! Look! I’m finally FREE! I’m finally doing something that *I* want to do and it’s all about *me* this time.

Ditto. IC has helped immensely. C has encouraged me to go back in time and love and comfort that little girl who felt so hurt and confused by actions she couldn't process.

I won't pretend to be qualified to analyze you, but is there a parallel between WH and Dad? Maybe you're admitting as much with your juxtaposed "kick in the teeth" sentences. When you "helped" WH have his cake and eat it too, were you projecting Dad onto WH?

You're working, you're digging, that's great! Keep it up.

[This message edited by 20WrongsVs1 at 12:58 PM, August 22nd (Thursday)]

ShockedErica11 posted 8/22/2013 13:32 PM

I won't pretend to be qualified to analyze you, but is there a parallel between WH and Dad? Maybe you're admitting as much with your juxtaposed "kick in the teeth" sentences. When you "helped" WH have his cake and eat it too, were you projecting Dad onto WH?

I have been asking myself this question, alot. There are some similarities between my father and WH, and I wonder if THOSE similarities are what attracted me to WH. Not in trying to date my dad, but the characteristics that mirrored my childhood and were "comfortable" to me.

When I dated, I often avoided people that reminded me of my Dad: loud, argumentative, hot-temptered, brash, impulsive, rude and selfish. I avoided people that had those tendencies like the plague.

But then I fell for WH, and he doesn't possess those tendencies overtly. Those tendencies are very subtle; instead, he is vulnerable, sometimes helpless and flounders around trying to figure stuff out.

I never anticipated those characteristics were also ones my dad essentially possessed and I had not sufficiently guarded myself against those, so that when WH showed them, I was swept in. Then came the anger, the blameshifting, the impulsive behaviors, the hot-headedness, the temper. But initially, no, he didn't show those characteristics because if he had been that way, I wouldn't have dated him at all.

Maybe I was striking back at my dad through WH because WH is the most immediate "threat".

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